Douro hotel in UNESCO controversy
A future luxury wine hotel which will have fabulous views overlooking the Douro Valley and river is threatening the famous wine region’s status as a World Heritage Site.
The construction of the luxury five-star Douro Marina Hotel owned by Portuguese media, pleasure cruise and hotel mogul Mário Ferreira in the Mesão Frio district, could, says the UNESCO National Commission (UNC) pave the way for the region’s future exclusion from the list of world heritage sites.
According to Público, UNESCO believes this project would land the landscape of the famous vineyards route on the list of classified sites in danger.
The Environmental Impact Study for the Douro Marina Hotel is currently going through public consultation which will continue to 29 January.
The hotel unit will cover total gross land area (GLA) of 23,100m2 with 8,497m2 covered by the total construction area (TCA) in a 180 room project.
However, the local municipal council says the hotel project is vital for the local economy and local jobs otherwise we risk “dying from the cure,” it says.
When the Commission for the Coordination and Development of the North Region published the start date of the public consultation period for the project on social media networks, there was an immediate post from a young person from Mesão Frio who shared the announcement that was made 13 years ago when the project had initially been mooted, shelved and has now been dusted down again for consideration.
“In 2007 I was fired up to do an IT course in tourism with the guarantee of a job at the Douro Marina Hotel at the end of it with that hope now being shattered if the project fails to go ahead,” he said.