Algarve, Tourist Region, must be managed as such

Tourism will have to readapt to the contingencies of climate change

The Algarve, with the collapse of a large part of the primary sector of the Portuguese economy, long ago entered the tourism monoculture.

No matter how much we talk about the Social State and the Rule of Law that we would have built in this planted garden by the sea, the truth is that the neoliberal drift, especially in recent decades, has led to a casino economy – what matters is to compensate the capital invested, even if society bursts at the seams if something fails.

In the agro-forestry sector, the evidence is more than abundant. And, in the Tourism sector, we have a region, the Algarve, practically in the hands of tourism agents and investors – for better or for worse.

With the consequences of climate change (although there are productivists and denialists who continue to talk only about a cycle that will pass and everything will return to the previous normal), the conditions offered to tourists also have to change, adapting them.

We live in an autumn where at 6 am it is 21ºC, which makes it possible for sea lovers to get to the beach early, because, by the end of the morning, the heat is already too much, especially since it has been going on for several months.

Now, tourism will have to readapt to this contingency, but that is not happening – it is not clear that the beaches no longer have lifeguards, nor signage that guides visitors to what awaits them at sea.

I don't know if this happens on all beaches in the Algarve, but on Praia de Faro, all assistance to users was withdrawn.

And it is deceiving, because although the sea water temperature is better than in many summer months, the state of the sea is not the same, it is a winter sea, with strong currents and irregular swells.

on the beach of Faro, the sea state flag is not even raised, which is absolutely incomprehensible.

The Authorities, whether the Municipality or the maritime services, cannot ignore what is happening and leave users, some Portuguese and many foreigners, whom I have heard lamenting the fact, at risk to their lives, due to the lack of conditions to use the beaches.

Algarve, a Tourist Region, must be managed as such.

If a fatality occurs while using the beach, due to a lack of official public safety conditions, then it will be too late to remedy the situation.


Author Fernando Santos Pessoa is a landscape architect and forestry engineer…and he writes with the spelling he learned at school


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