On the 90th of May, 17 companies from the municipality of Albufeira were recognized with the seal “PME Líder” and “PME Excelência”, in the 7th edition of the Distinction Ceremony, which took place at the Hotel Alísios.
This is a seal of quality awarded by IAPMEI and Turismo de Portugal to companies that have contributed most to the competitiveness and development of the national economy.
The ceremony began with a tribute to José Gomes Leandro, owner of the venue where the ceremony took place, known as a doyen of Tourism in Albufeira, being one of the first businessmen in the country to focus on modernization and energy efficiency. With an intense business activity linked to the hotel business and a vast curriculum in the tourist and associative area, José Carlos Rolo made a point of completing his profile by noting that «José Leandro spreads humanism, cultivates friendship and practices dedication to Albufeira».
Touched by the homage that the Municipality paid him, the businessman from Albufeira is now designing a 5-star tourist resort for Paderne based on the idea of sustainability, based on Nature's resources, called Hotel Vale do Tempo.
«Everything that has happened so far has had a reason to exist. Everything I did always started from thinking about others, always relegating myself to the end», he said, adding that «I still have only one dream to fulfill, that of the Hotel Vale do Tempo, a rural hotel to honor my ancestors".
The future hotel will be located in Vale de Pegas, in the Barrocal Algarvio region, marked by rurality and low population density.
Cristiano Cabrita, vice-president of the municipality and responsible for the Entrepreneurship portfolio, did not mince words to express the “pride” in the companies that demonstrated “a good performance” in the year 2021.
«This ceremony serves to recognize the excellence of your performance so that, in unison, we can make Albufeira the best place in the world to live, as well as the best tourist destination. Feel for this municipality, the same affection that the municipality feels for your work», said that official.
Carlos Abade, member of the Board of Directors of Turismo de Portugal, stressed that this seal of quality extends to the approximately 1500 workers who are engaged in these companies and recalled that «the challenge of innovation continues» and that «we all have to do more and better , and different, attentive to the market of sustainability» and «efficiency».
He also stressed that the present prize awarded to SMEs will have to evolve. «We have to associate sustainability, social challenges, with what is done for the environment and the social environment».
On behalf of IAPMEI, the member of the Board of Directors Nuno Gonçalves recalled that, referring these distinctions to a difficult period for the economy, they are «also rewarding the resilience capacity of our companies».
José Apolinário, president of CCDR-Algarve, stressed the importance of the “proximity economy” and expressed some of the ideas that will form the basis of the next support within the scope of the 20-30 Plan for economic recovery in Portugal: «250 million euros are earmarked for to companies in the region. Micro and medium-sized companies must be the engine of this 20-30 Plan. There will be new demands, namely regarding diversification, climate and digital transition in Tourism».
This official does not doubt that «the tourists of the future will make their choices based on sustainability».
José Carlos Rolo closed the ceremony demonstrating his great appreciation for the municipality's companies and recalling that «tourism companies would not be what they are if there were not other companies from other areas, supporting all the services they provide», which is why it is urgent for the Albufeira's economy also evolve into other sectors.
The mayor stressed the importance of bank branches throughout this process of awarding distinctions and recalled the past difficulties during the pandemic, as well as the present ones, resulting from the current war in Europe.
Of the distinguished companies, 50% (45 companies) are related to “Accommodation, catering and similar”, 18% (16 companies) are from the area of “Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles” and 11% (10 companies) are related to the “Construction” activity.