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Horta ,  October 18, 2017

Redevelopment of tourist sites and training of human resources are priorities in the enhancement of the Azores Destination offer

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism stated today that the enhancement of the tourism offer is the main priority of the Regional Government, highlighting the ongoing works for the redevelopment of tourist sites and training of human resources.
"Considering the growth of tourism in the Azores over the last two years, it is important to ensure mechanisms for the redevelopment and preservation of recreational and leisure areas as sites of tourist interest, managing the demand. We also draw attention to the most vulnerable environmental areas located within the network of parks and forest reserves, the network of pedestrian trails, viewpoints and beach areas in order to ensure its environmental and landscape preservation, thus ensuring its sustainability," stressed Marta Guerreiro.
The Secretary for Tourism spoke at the Legislative Assembly. She said these efforts are being undertaken in "collaboration with several governmental departments" with the aim of implementing "a series of interventions in the areas that register higher influx of tourists in the periods of greatest demand. Moreover, we will plan other interventions, properly structured, in recreational and leisure areas, based on the strategy defined for regional tourism, as well as in the environmental protection tools for the Region."
The Regional Secretary also emphasised that the training of human resources, whether through initial training, retraining or through continuous training for the upgrading of skills, is another important priority. In this regard, he highlighted the implementation of partnerships with the Institute of Tourism Planning and Development and with the Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Similar Services of Portugal (AHRESP), through "an Awareness Programme for a Culture of Service and a Programme for the Qualification of the Azores Gastronomic Heritage."
Marta Guerreiro highlighted the work developed by the Tourism and Hotel School, which "will undertake, from next month, 19 training courses. It will cover 285 participants from all islands in a total of 500 hours of specific training," including foreign languages, digital marketing, cuisine, and restaurant services, hotel housekeeping, tourism itineraries, bar trends, customer service and claims management.
In her speech, the Regional Secretary assured that "the Azores tourism is the people, with them and for them." She noted that "we registered 5,615 workers in the sector of accommodation, catering and similar services by the end of 2016. This represents, on the one hand, an increase of 44% compared to the end of 2014 and, on the other hand, an growth 11% of overall employment in regional companies," noted the government official.
We should also mention the growth registered in tourism companies. In 2017, there are 337 companies operating in this sector, representing a further increase of 39% over 2015. Moreover, "other business sectors have shown an increase in sales, production of goods and provision of services with a clear impact on agricultural, regional, industrial, small-scale trade and handicrafts," added the government official.
From January to August 2017, the Azores registered the highest increase in overnight stays in all regions of the country, with a growth over 18% compared to 2016. They are also the leading region in terms of revenue growth, standing at 27%.
For Marta Guerreiro, "the fact that the revenue had a higher growth compared to overnight stays is quite relevant," which means that "we have managed to extract more value from tourism activities."
"These results do not come about by chance. They represent the continuous efforts undertaken by the Government and the entire private sector in this area over the last year as a certainty that, through tourism, the economic development of the archipelago is possible," said the Regional Secretary.


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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