Francisco Caleros, President of the Portuguese Tourism Federation (CTP), emphasized at the closing session of the IX APECATE conference, “I believe that little by little, with difficulties, interruptions or setbacks, we will return to life as normal as possible” took place in Peniche.
The official said that although national tourism is still “a long way from 27 million tourists and 70 million overnights in 2019, there is no doubt that this will again be the most dynamic, most exported and most competitive sector of the national economy.”
Despite the “good pace” of the development process in Portugal, the entry into force of the digital certificate and the “reconfirmation that we are in a position to win the future”, the CTP chief admitted that there are still “a lot of doubts about the prospect”, especially in this area touched upon. The case of tourism companies, emphasizing the organization of events and conferences, and tourist entertainment. “We know that these companies are essential to regional cohesion and the social and economic development of regions and cities, they operate in the most exporting and wealth-generating sectors.”
Francisco Caleros noted that in 2019, Portugal ranked 10th in the ICCA world rankings for conference and congress organization, “attracting several thousand visitors and generating revenue of thousands of euros”. He defended it, saying, “This is one of the assets we can’t completely squander.”
“It is essential that we know as soon as possible how companies can use the funds in the plan so that this support reaches the real economy.”
The head of the CTPa also took the opportunity to highlight the “important step” taken by the government when launching the tourism revitalization plan, but warned: “It is now necessary to activate and implement this plan without further delay. It is necessary to know how companies can use the money contained in the plan as quickly as possible. How can this support reach the real economy?
The representative of employers in the tourism sector emphasized that the part belonging to the private sector – “ensure the quality of the offer, retain our professionals, provide the best services, invest in innovation and the best offer” – can be successful only if it “works with decision makers”.
He stressed that “entrepreneurs in the field of tourism, who have given so much to our country, need support to continue to be the leaders of the national economy,” and demanded that the government carefully consider an activity that accounts for 10% of GDP, and 50% of GDP. Service exports and half a million jobs.
Francisco Caleros did not want to fail to mention external promotion in new foreign markets and the important role played by Portuguese diplomatic representation in strategic markets “which can and should provide essential support to companies abroad and at the same time help clarify other governments in this matter. Situations are like removing our country from the UK’s Green List.”
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