Edition 1488
18 August 2018
Edition: 1488

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Algarve chases safest destination title

by Brendan de Beer, in News · 21-04-2016 14:09:00 · 1 Comments

The Portuguese Government has this week unveiled plans to make the Algarve into “Europe’s safest tourist destination.” The objective was laid out by Home Affairs Secretary Jorge Gomes during a visit to Albufeira, the Algarve’s most popular tourist destination.

Algarve chases safest destination title

According to Jorge Gomes, the project, known as ‘Algarve – A Safe Destination’ is based on implementing measures such as the creation of “efficient coordination and fiscalisation instruments”, especially in terms of border controls, which has become increasingly topical in the European context of fighting the growing terror threat.
In comments to Diário de Notícias, the State Secretary added that other target areas will be the combatting of illegal immigration, of human, arms and drug trafficking and the seizing of contraband and counterfeit goods.
Jorge Gomes further revealed that the campaign will be focused on creating a “sense of safety and security among foreign and national tourists alike.”
In order to assist the government in this move, a permanent safety analysis will be conducted through the use of statistical information.
The project, according to the State Secretary, is to have five focal points of interaction: Tourism offices, a smartphone app to deal with tourists’ needs and queries, visible ‘tourism teams’, teams to deal with tourists after they have been the victim of a crime and a mixed police force that will include officers from across the border.
The Government has also called on the Civil Protection Unit to work at reducing risks.
This, explained Jorge Gomes, will be achieved by improving warning alert systems and keeping people better informed in order to “create communities which are more resilient to serious accidents and catastrophes.”
He also revealed that in order to enhance contact between authorities and local populations, a process of decentralisation will be encouraged, whereby decisions are made by people on the ground as opposed to central government.
This news comes as the hotels and resorts in the Algarve are once again preparing for all existing tourism records to be broken.
While domestic tourism recorded a slight fall last year in the Algarve in numbers from 1.1 million in 2014 to just over a million, foreign tourists have been boosting levels in recent years and reached 2.5 million in 2015.
Both the PSP and GNR police forces are currently finalising their plans for the annual summer boost in officers in the region and will once again pay particular attention to Albufeira, Portimão, Tavira, Lagos, Vilamoura and Faro, and will be taking into consideration what is expected to be the largest influx of tourists the region has ever seen over the summer months.
Algarve Tourism President Desidério Silva has meanwhile come out in support of the government’s initiative, telling Diário de Notícias that bearing in mind that there are a number of traditional tourist destination in the midst of conflicts, markets are looking for safer destinations.
“We want the Algarve to be the safest destination in Europe because this will bring the right results”, the RTA chief said.

Comments

Algarve a safe destination? With the EN 125? Don't make me laugh.
by R.Engelander from Algarve on 22-04-2016 01:40:00

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Edition 1488
18 August 2018
Edition: 1488

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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