Tourism has been beneficial to the Algarve

A majority of the population in the Algarve, Portugal depends on the tourism industry for their livelihood, either directly or indirectly. Moreover, the locals are content and pleased with how tourism has been impacting their area.

On February 17th, research was conducted in Faro to analyze the perspective of Algarvians towards tourism and to understand the sentiment of tourists visiting the region. One first study revealed that around two-thirds of Portuguese citizens living in the Algarve have part or all of their household income from the tourism sector.

"We found that there is a very high percentage of people who have their professional activity related to tourism, or in some way their families benefit from the fact that they are professionally involved in tourism," said Patrícia Pinto, a professor at the University of the Algarve and responsible for the study, which is called RESTUR (Attitudes and Behaviours of Residents): Contributions to the Development of a Sustainable Tourism Strategy in the Algarve).

The happiest county

For the first time ever, a survey was conducted to determine how satisfied people within Algarve are in relation to tourism with 4,000 interviewees from the 16 municipalities.

To the question "Am I a happy person?" most residents answered yes and the municipality where most people feel happy is in Lagoa.

Patrícia Pinto said: "Algarve residents think that tourism has important positive impacts on the region". More than 90 percent of respondents stress that the sector increases job opportunities and contributes to the development of the local economy, while eight out of ten Algarvians say tourism creates more business for the resident population.

In addition, "they are willing to adopt some practices that can help the region continue to be a good tourist destination, to protect natural resources, to get involved in promoting the destination," she added.

The negative side

Despite the advantages of tourism, many locals feel that it also has some drawbacks - especially from an economic standpoint. 91.5% agree that tourism results in a hike in the price of houses, 86.4 percent say that tourism increases the cost of living and 75.5 percent point out that goods and services are more expensive.

João Fernandes, the president of the Algarve Tourist Board, noted that although there are some drawbacks, the study reveals that there are many positives. "there is no anti-tourist attitude, which is very positive for a destination that is already consolidated and has invested in this sector since the 1960s".

What do tourists think about Portugal?

On the same day, another study called TurExperience was also presented in Faro. TurExperience analyses tourist experiences throughout the year in the Algarve and their profile.

A research involving 2,729 tourists in the Algarve region revealed that the majority (58.6%) of them were female and 50.7% of those surveyed were married or living with a partner, between 25 and 64 years old (69.1 percent), on holiday (80.5 percent), with family members (40.7 percent) and staying between one and seven days (50.8 percent), with a balance between four or five star hotels (22.6 percent), holiday homes (21.9 percent) and AL (18.3 percent).

Despite its popularity with tourists, the Algarve is yet to become a leader in eco-friendliness. There is still much work that can be done to help the region reduce its environmental impact and become more sustainable.

The two projects were developed over three years by the University of Algarve, with EU funding from the Algarve Operational Programme CRESC Algarve 2020.

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source: The Portugal News


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