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National Hoteliers' president calls for an end to all oil exploration in Portugal

oilrigatseaPortugal’s national association of hoteliers considers it ‘essential’ that the government stops all oil and gas exploration in Portugal, onshore and offshore.

The association’s president, Raul Martins said his members “applaud the decision of the Government to rescind the contracts for research, development and production of onshore oil in the Algarve,” and show "full support in reviewing other outstanding contracts that unequivocally undermine the image of Portugal and, therefore, the profitability and sustainability of a vital sector of the Portuguese economy."

"It is with great satisfaction that we received the news of the government’s intention to proceed with the process of termination of the contracts that were planned for the Algarve. As we have already said, the oil industry is not compatible with tourism and, as it is the largest national tourist destination, this would lead to the breakdown of many millions of euros in revenue," said Martins in a pre-Christmas statement from the association.

The Associação da Hotelaria de Portugal stance is that priorities need to be defined for the country, "The commitment to sustainable tourism, which thrives on the excellence of our natural resources and justifies special protection measures such as the creation of the The South West Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park is not compatible with the exploration and extraction of oil and gas.

“That is to say, from an economic point of view, there are reasons to halt such exploration and extraction activities because it affects another activity of enormous importance for Portugal - tourism. In addition, it is well known that tourism and real estate investments along the Alentejo and Algarve coastlines are a form of national and international promotion."

"Knowing that there are other contracts for oil exploration pending, we consider it essential that the government takes the same position that has now been made public to prevent the harmful consequences that an oil business will bring to the country in economic and environmental terms," concludes Martins, echoing the views of the Algarve’s tourism sector but giving the issue added weight from a national perspective.

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