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Vila Viçosa ,  January 05, 2018

"Azores increasingly consolidated as tourist destination due to the commitment of all," says Marta Guerreiro

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism assured in Vila Viçosa that the Azores, as a tourist destination, have an increasingly consolidated positioning due to the commitment of all agents of the sector, namely with regard to sustainability issues.
"In the Azores, 2017 was a year of growth and consolidation, encouraging us to continue with determination the path of sustainable development, namely with the development of a strategy to measure multisectoral indicators. It will be designed to hear not all those who work in this sector on a daily basis, but also all Azoreans," said Marta Guerreiro in Vila Viçosa. She spoke under a meeting promoted by the Secretary of State for Tourism to assess the tourism sector in 2017 and set priorities for this year.
The Regional Secretary stressed that the Azores "led the growth of overnight stays and revenue in the traditional hotel category in all Portuguese regions in 2015 and 2016, a trend that has been maintained." As of October 2017, traditional hotel accommodation registered 1,638,133 overnight stays in traditional hotels, representing an increase of 16.3% over the same period of last year.
"There are reasons for satisfaction with the growth of tourism in the Azores, which should be regarded as an asset that generates benefits for all, locals and tourists, the government official said, noting that it is a controlled growth.
"We are not and we do not wish to become a mass tourism destination," said Marta Guerreiro.
"This was a year of increased challenges. Now, we look at our growth and our reputation as an opportunity to make the Azores a better place for those who visit us and for those who live there," said the Secretary for Tourism. According to her, "for that reason, 2017 was a year of thinking together what we want for our archipelago."
"I cannot fail to mention that this year marks the decision to start the process of certifying the Azores as a sustainable tourist destination, which represents for us a true commitment to the future," said the government official.
Marta Guerreiro said that "only four countries and nine regions of the world" bear this certification and, so far, no archipelago bears it. This certification would make the Azores "the first archipelago in the world awarded with this distinction."
For the government official, "the qualification of the destination in 2018 will be one of the most demanding challenges, namely the priority to ensure mechanisms for the redevelopment and preservation of the main leisure areas as sites of tourist interest. The purpose is to ensure their environmental and landscape preservation."
"Another major priority for this sector concern the training of human resources for the entry new workers into the sector, the provision of training aimed at the upgrading skills and the retraining of professionals. There are planned partnerships with the Institute for Tourism Planning and Development (IPDT) and the Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Similar Services of Portugal (AHRESP), in addition to the activities of regional training establishments in the sector," added the government official.
Marta Guerreiro also said that the importance of this matter became quite clear at the meeting held in Vila Viçosa insofar as the challenges of human resources are the same in the entire national territory.


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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