AHETA asks the next Government of Portugal for Minister of Tourism

AHETA left a set of strategic issues that it considers essential for the next Government's action plan

In an open letter to the future Prime Minister of Portugal, the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA) left a set of strategic issues that it considers essential for the next Government's action plan, including the creation of a Ministry of Tourism.

As tourism is one of the main economic activities of the country and the region, AHETA considers that «it is not clear how this sector does not have a Minister, responsible for the portfolio, while other areas of governance with a residual impact have their Minister» .

«It is equally urgent to change the financing system for Algarve Tourism, the entity responsible for the national and international promotion of the Algarve», they also say, adding that «having the RTA, today, practically the same financing as it had 20 years ago does not It does nothing to promote the Algarve and establish partnerships for new marketing and promotion channels».

In this open letter, the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve also defends the tax revolution.

«Issues such as the implementation of a housing subsidy for displaced workers, treated fiscally like the lunch subsidy, the 15th month, treated equally, are models that we want to implement, in order to help improve the remuneration conditions of our employees. collaborators and that, to this day, we have never had a response from successive governments».

In the specific case of the Algarve, AHETA considers it imperative «that hiring laws are adapted so that we can retain our employees, as is the case in Andalusia, with an employment contract model called “discontinuous fixed contract”».

This entity also highlights that «bureaucracy is one of the great “cancers”, for companies and citizens» and argues that «the next government must have the courage to stop the entire process of reviewing the PDM's, in some cases in the process of review more than ten years ago, and promote a global study that takes into account future needs in the region, both in terms of establishing companies and families».

«We want to create social housing for our staff but this will not be possible with land at market prices nor with the tax system that results from this installation. And we accept and suggest that this social housing has a burden of 50 years without being able to have any other use or cannot even be sold separately from the hotel unit», the note also reads.

This Association also argues that in a region where tourism is the main economic activity, public infrastructure and accessibility should be a priority.

«The state of part of our structural road, the EN125, between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António, worthy of a road in a third world country, a fast road (A22) with terrible tolls, especially for companies and tourists, with a quality that leaves a lot to be desired, an insufficient railway that is still not fully electrified throughout the Algarve, using carriages that are dozens of years old and with a graffiti “decoration” are not added value, while we compete with all the tourist world by attracting tourists».

Finally, AHETA emphasizes the need for an events policy.

«With the Algarve having a fabulous coastline, why don't we have an events policy that enshrines a major sailing event, with international impact? And why can't we have a golf event, in the first international division, that promotes this economic activity that is so important in reducing seasonality? And because we are, year after year, begging for pennies, so that we can once again count on the events held at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, namely the Moto GP which, for example this year, translates, once again, into a major impact on accommodation and restaurants, practically throughout the Algarve?”, he asks.

This entity thus defends «a true policy of events for the region, in a sustainable way, organized essentially outside the peak tourism season and which are guaranteed to be held for a certain period».