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Ponta Delgada ,  November 16, 2010

Carlos César announces integration of Azorean Youth Hostels in international youth hostels network

The President of the Government said on Tuesday that the future Santa Maria Youth Hostel is a strong stimulus for the renewal and promotion of the historical centre of Vila do Porto, thus becoming a driving force for this process due to its potentialities.   
Carlos César, who spoke at the ceremony to launch the first stone of the works, has connected future operation of the Youth Hostel to the operation of the Museum, which is also located in the same area, and to the childhood support infrastructure already at a project phase, in order to boost the local life.
“These structures will enable a higher flow of people to the historical centre, providing more opportunities as well as a better environment in a privileged space for residence. We are pleased to carry out these changes and we hope that private and local authorities show similar commitment,” added Carlos César.
The use of pre-existing buildings for the installation of Youth Hostels – as it happened on Pico and São Jorge - was also stressed by the President of the Government as an choice that preserves and renews the building heritage, a “goal which we are proud of achieving with the good public investment performance for the most varied purposes, from the reconstruction for residential purposes to the installation of economic, cultural and social support infrastructures.”
As Carlos César emphasised, the future hostel will boost the local market, “not only by the creation of seven jobs, but also by the association of local tourism and cultural animation companies which, in conjunction with Pousadas da Juventude S.A., will improve the recreational offer addressed at youngsters by developing the potentialities that Santa Maria has to offer.”
Mentioning that the choice of Santa Maria for the construction of another youth hostel was based on the youngsters’ demand for that island, Carlos César revealed that taking into account an estimate based on the number of tickets by the holders of the Interjovem card, this demands exceeds three thousand and five hundred youngsters per year.
The President of the Regional Government conveyed his belief that such demand will contribute to the success of this investment “without jeopardising the traditional market of other hotel units on the island, given its specific purposes. In fact, this is another infrastructure that will boost the attractiveness of Santa Maria.
The Santa Maria Youth Hostel, with an installed capacity of fifty-eight beds, represents a public investment of nearly two and half million Euros, which includes the acquisition of land, studies and projects, the construction of infrastructures, landscaping and a car park.
As Carlos César emphasised, this work demonstrates the fulfilment of the Government’s commitments in this legislative period regarding the expansion of Youth Hostels Network in the Azores which will be five, within eighteen months, making up a total of 323 beds.
With the opening of Pico Youth Hostels in 2008, the total of overnight stays in all Youth Hostels increased 11%. This year the number of overnight stays is expected to exceed twenty-two thousand.
These data and the positive operating results presented by the company Pousadas da Juventude S.A. have led Carlos César to convey his satisfaction over the   consolidation of a youth travel market to complement the available offer at other levels.
 “Continuing to grow in this segment and to ensure sustainability of these projects is therefore essential,” the President of the Government stated, announcing the integration of Youth Hostels in the International Youth Hostels Network, known as Hosteling International, which comprises countries and regions across the world.
 Carlos César expressed his belief that the Santa Maria Youth Hostel will be “an important contribution to the growth of local dynamics,” evoking Max Elizabeth, who recently died, “a friend and a citizen” who “inspired and motivated various generation of young Santa Maria islanders,” but unfortunately did not live to see the implementation the project he had dreamed for his island. 


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Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

 
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