World Tourism Day focuses on Portugal

THE DECISION by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) to choose Portugal this year for the focus of the commemorations for World Tourism Day has been warmly welcomed by the Associação dos Hotéis e Empreendimentos Turísticos do Algarve (AHETA), the Algarve hotels and resorts association.

The fact that the WTO has chosen Portugal can only serve to highlight the country and give greater economic importance to Portugal’s tourism activities in a national context.

As in previous years, AHETA encourages all its members to offer extra special attention to clients and tourists on World Tourism Day (September 27), many of which will be putting on special events and entertainment programmes.

The theme chosen by the WTO this year is ‘Tourism, a Provider of Wealth’ and, yes, the Algarve, the country’s largest region for tourism, does contribute greatly to the country’s wealth. The theme this year may then help to encourage a greater understanding from the government and the relevant authorities for the need to achieve sustainable development in the Algarve, while ensuring that the tourist offer remains competitive and secure for the future.

On this day, AHETA calls again for the attention of the country’s politicians to the necessity of resolving, once and for all, the list of problems confronting the Algarve, particularly those relating to productivity and the competitiveness of the tourist offer. The proposals being presented by AHETA to the government, namely to the Prime Minister, may gain a greater priority due to World Tourism Day, its focus on Portugal and its timely theme.

One of the urgent problems, and one of the most recent, is the issue related with the guarantee of the public water supply in the region. However, there are many more: the Planeamento e Ordenamento do Território (Revisão do PROTAL), the need to revise the planning laws, licensing of tourist resorts, tourism promotion, professional training and public investment in infrastructures and facilities to support tourism in the Algarve,to name just a few.