Tourism investment must be sustainable, says Resorts Association

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Possible future challenges must be anticipated to avoid the mistakes of the past according to the President of the Portuguese Resorts Association, Carlos Leal.

“Tourism in Portugal has been growing at a good rate and the country is enjoying good times, but we shouldn’t just look at the numbers in recent past, we have to look to the future and anticipate the challenges that could put the industry at risk in terms of sustainable development,” says Leal, the CEO of United Investments Portugal.

“We can’t forget history and repeat the errors committed before and after the crisis. In recent years Portugal has benefited from serious political and security problems in competing tourist markets like Egypt, Tunisia, France and the UK, but these markets are bouncing back and are being promoted by tour operators,” he said.

Some of these countries were benefiting from more air links, more competitive prices and benefits regarding exchange rates.

The new APR president said the implementation of a viable solution to Lisbon’s new international airport was vitally important with an alternative to Portela such as Beja or Montijo.

“The Government continues to debate the issue with the airports authority ANA and we’ve heard that negotiations are difficult, however tourism doesn’t have time to lose. This debate has been dragging on for years without a concrete solution agreed upon and no one wanting to take responsibility” added Carlos Leal.

“We continue getting more tourists and yet we don’t have the airport infrastructure facilities to receive them,” he concluded.