The government will create a new EUR 130 million support line – Capitalisation Tourism – to finance the creation and reconsideration of tourism plans. The announcement was made this morning by Prime Minister António Costa at the start of the 30th Conference of the Hospitality Association of Portugal (AHP), which lasts until Lisbon tomorrow on "Tourism: What Future Do We Want?".
Costa has told hoteliers that they will have a new line that focuses on environmental sustainability, improved energy efficiency, better use of water and waste management.
In this context, EUR 40 000 will be launched on the basis of the Small and Medium Business Plan for tourism.
The Prime Minister has shifted its support role over the past few years. "Over the past three years, we have supported 1271 tourism programs for a total of 1,500 million investments," he says.
In a written message, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that "tourism should do well again, every day and every year," but stressing that it is "vital not to lose the authenticity of culture and heritage." The President of the Republic also called for the two-day debate to take account of "territorial and social cohesion and the urgent nature of the revolution of the various regions of the country and the tourist routes".
António Costa wants to be a partner in the development of tourism, which is characterized as a "strategy". "We have good reasons to continue the work we have developed," he said, stressing that "this is why we are increasing the funds for the external promotion of Portugal (37.5%) in the state budget for 2019. British market, which signed the Brexit agreement yesterday and is historically the main Portuguese market. "
139 events for 2019
"The good news is that this year revenues continue to grow to 12.2%, maintaining the tendency to characterize our offer and the attractiveness of the country. Today, tourism accounts for 50% of exports of services and already represents 8 % of GDP, "he says.
Costa's optimistic view suggests that "the country must continue to make great efforts to attract new events and conferences." In 2019, he says that 139 events have already been secured in the national territory.
AHP chairman Raúl Martins recalled that in October "we had the good news that the Internet summit will continue in Lisbon for another ten years, bringing with it more technology companies in Portugal and all the others who are interdependent with them "But if the summit is important," it is really important for the Lisbon metropolitan area to increase the capacity of the FIL and build a conference center, "said Fernando Medina, mayor of Lisbon.
From 1 January next year, municipal tourist tax in Lisbon will increase from one to two euros per night. In total, the local authority has already allocated about EUR 31 million from the start of the collection in 2016. Last year the department received 18.5 million euros in tourist tax, 6.1 million more than in 2016.
Tourism tax revenue has already been applied to events such as the Eurovision Song Contest. In the future, they will help finance the continuation of the Web Summit in Portugal.
The hotelier said that "this ambition of the Lisbon hotels will be achieved through the use of the tourist tax to which we have agreed." And, he joked, "This is not a blank check on the local authority."
The head of the AHP notes that the management model, which is being developed in cooperation with hoteliers, is a "necessary guarantee", noting that "not only funds are allocated to a specific fund but are destined for investment in the destination [Lisboa]", Requiring the approval of the hoteliers.
* News updated with more info at 11:50