Portugal’s economy minister, António Costa Silva, has revealed that tourism revenues reached €22 billion in 2022, surpassing by 20% the figure recorded in 2019, in what was considered the best year for tourism.
“Portugal ended 2022 with €22 billion, which is absolutely extraordinary because, in one year, we not only recovered what we did in 2019, but we exceeded the results by another 20%,” the minister said in Portimão, in the Faro district on Monday.
Speaking at the closing session of the inauguration of the new Hotel and Tourism School (EHTP) in that Algarve municipality, the minister recalled that tourism, “one of the engines of the country’s economic development, was highly plagued by the pandemic, almost paralysed for two years, leading to a great demotivation” of economic stakeholders.
“There were many people who said that to recover the numbers of 2019 we would take three, four or five years, but we managed to recover during last year,” he stressed.
António Costa Silva said that for Portugal “to achieve one of the objectives of being the most sustainable destination in the world, one of the highest quality, “it is necessary to work together, developing collaborative networks”.
“If we build these platforms, if we have clear designs, we can transform the lives of our communities, create wealth and align the country, attune the country to the future,” he pointed out.
In the opinion of the economy minister, “there is still prejudice in the country in relation to tourism,” a sector that, he noted, “is undoubtedly one of the fundamental pillars of our economic development”.
“We, at the ministry of the economy, have a very clear vision about tourism: tourism is a tool to develop the country from north to south, including the autonomous regions [of Madeira and the Azores], because it is capillary,” he noted.
In the same sense, he added, that tourism “is at this point in the entire national area and it is across all sectors of the economy, it mobilises multiple sectors of the economy, from construction to transport, to a whole range of industries”.
“If we use this tool [tourism] in the proper sense, it is absolutely transformative,” he reinforced.
António Costa Silva also pointed to the quality of the new EHTP facilities as an “investment to educate and train people, given that investment in education is the most productive that the country can have”.
“Education […] changes people and it is people who transform the world. We want to be the most sustainable destination in the world and that cannot be done without quality schools,” he said.
The new building of the Portimão School of Hospitality and Tourism is an investment of €2.3 million from the Portuguese Tourism Board that will strengthen the range of training in the region.
The new facilities result from the requalification of the former prison of Portimão, the building has eight classrooms equipped with the latest technology, two individual kitchens, an auditorium with capacity for 140 people, a bar and a restaurant ‘application’, which will be open to the public.
According to the Portuguese Tourism Board, the digital equipment will facilitate “a hybrid teaching that combines in-person and distance learning”.
The Portimão Hotel and Tourism School is the third training establishment in the Algarve, along with Faro and Vila Real de Santo António.
Besides the minister of the economy and maritime affairs, the inauguration was attended, among others, by the secretary of state for tourism, trade and services, Nuno Fazenda, and the president of the Portuguese tourism board, Luís Araújo.