BPI brought together more than 120 managers and entrepreneurs from the Algarve to discuss the challenges of sustainable tourism, the capture of new markets and the fight against seasonality, as part of the “BPI Empresas Meetings” initiative.
This cycle of debates is going through all districts and autonomous regions to address investment in the major economic sectors in each region.
Led by the coordinating director of BPI's Lisbon and Southern Corporate and Institutional Banking, João Patrício, the panel discussion was attended by Vitor Aleixo, Mayor of Loulé, Carlos Baía, Faro City Councilor with the Tourism, Nuno Alves, Tourism of Portugal, João Fernandes, Tourism Region of Algarve, and Frederico Costa, Group Pestana.
“Economic growth can not be bet- ter without care for the finitude of resources,” emphasized Loulé Mayor Vítor Aleixo, quoted in a press release.
The Louletan mayor shared his enthusiasm for the project – under development with the municipalities of Silves and Albufeira – aimed at recognizing this territory of the interior of the Algarve as a World Geopark, with the UNESCO seal.
"Nature tourism, or linked to the cultural and anthropological tradition of the Algarve, can be an important tool for wealth generation linked to tourism activity in the interior," he said.
In the same vein, Faro City Councilman Carlos Baía presented his municipality's work in contributing to a more sustainable Algarve destination, stressing the need to “safeguard Ria Formosa's carrying capacity” and focusing on local council housing as a “territorial cohesion factor”.
"Seasonality is a theme that has been with us for many years, but fortunately it has been attenuated," said João Fernandes, from the Algarve Tourism Region. "Tourism itself must be an active agent in reducing seasonality and territorial cohesion through diversification of supply, building responses that generate new motivations for visiting the region," he added.
Nuno Alves, from Turismo de Portugal, referred to the objectives of environmental, social and economic sustainability integrated in the tourism strategy 2027 and how the recent distinction of Portugal as the Best Sustainable Destination in Europe was a validation of the work done so far by Turismo of Portugal and economic agents.
On capturing new markets and closing the panel, Frederico Costa, administrator of the Pestana Group, focused on the importance of air capacity and, before working on new markets, exploring other regions of Germany and England, the countries of strongest origin in the search for the Algarve destination.