“If it weren’t for the continued growth of tourism, which is one of the few sectors in Portugal whose policies do not undergo significant changes despite changes in government, the Portuguese economy would probably be in stagnation.”

This idea was shared by former deputy prime minister Paulo Portas, who was one of the speakers participating in the 16th national convention of the Heavy Passenger Transport Association (ARP), which took place in Braga, last weekend and reported by Publituris.

Speaking to around 200 ARP members, some of them linked to tourist transport, Paulo Portas shared some reflections on geo-economic and geopolitical trends that could have an impact on the passenger transport sector, tourism and the Portuguese economy in general, highlighting the importance tourism as one of the main reasons behind the 2% growth of the national economy this year, above the European economy. “Tourism is on track to contribute to 20% of Portuguese GDP. It’s absolutely extraordinary,” he commented.

Paulo Portas believes that foreign tourists who visit Portugal should be treated well. “We are not rich and kickstarting the generation of wealth will not be a very intelligent act”, he argued, adding that the sector’s growth trend is set to continue: “Tourism continues to rise and there is no indication to the contrary, unless there is a global crisis.”