Promoting the Algarve as a safe tourist destination

A meeting to discuss ways to maintain and promote the Algarve as a safe tourist destination was held on January 16 between the president of the Algarve Tourism Board and the president of Safe Communities Algarve (SCA) association.

David Thomas from SCA and tourism chief Desidério Silva agreed that much progress had been achieved in reducing the level of tourism crime in the last one to two years, through the work of the police, consuls and other agencies, but that it was appropriate to explore further opportunities in the form of creating greater awareness and through simple crime prevention measures.

In addition, negative and inaccurate reporting in some overseas media and on travel sites could unduly influence potential visitors to the region.

During the meeting, a number of ideas were put forward and discussed to coordinate with the existing work of the PSP and GNR in terms of crime prevention concerning motorist crime, villa crime such as burglaries and late-night street crime.

It was felt that much of this was preventable through creating greater awareness and taking positive steps involving the car rental industry, the hotel industry, villa management and with bars and other places of late night entertainment.

A number of concrete ideas will be pursued. As an initial step, Safe Communities Algarve will create a ‘Tourist’ page on its website where visitors could obtain relevant crime prevention advice and a “quick locator” for help points including GNR and PSP stations.

President Desidério Silva welcomed the proposal to hold future crime prevention seminars organised by Safe Communities Algarve in conjunction with the GNR and PSP and would give active support to this initiative.

The two entities pledged to work together and it was agreed that further meetings would be held to review progress.

Also see story on page 16.