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Mar Algarve Expo avoids oil and gas threat

oilrigDedicated to the maritime economy, an event in Portimão (09 to 11 October) will see the regional tourist board promoting sun and sea tourism which remains the most important segment for the region, accounting for the arrival of 88% of holidaymakers.

The tourist board will distribute its usual raft of documentation to many of the 6,000 visitors expected to attend.

In addition to sun and sea for summer holidays, the tourist board intends to highlight the sea as a 'precious resource' in so far as it mitigates seasonality through the development of sea and nautical tourism, according to regional tourism president Desiderio Silva.

Keen on keeping his job, Silva will be steering away from any suggestions that the imminent hydrocarbon drilling by the Spanish-led consortium is the greatest threat the Algarve has ever had to its image of pristine beaches and clear waters - this is the elephant in the room.

"The Algarve traditionally is associated with the sea and maritime activities and so we want to take advantage of our participation in this event to promote the sea as a source of excellence for the region throughout the year. The recreational boating and marine tourism (cruise ships) are developing the destination and are a good complement to the sun and sea products,” said the tourism chief.

The Mar Algarve Expo will host both companies and government agencies involved in the maritime economy.

The programme includes seminars, workshops, show cooking from the School of Hospitality and Tourism of the Algarve, and exhibitors. No oil companies are expected to attend.

In August this year, Almargem – the Asssociation for the Defense of the Algarve’s Cultural and Environmental Heritage - sent an official request to the Minister for the Environment demanding an environmental impact assessment be carried out covering the widespread hydrocarbon exploration activity along the Algarve’s coastline.

In early July the president of the Spanish oil company Repsol said, after meeting the President of the Portuguese Republic, that his company will begin in earnest drilling and exploring for hydrocarbons off the Algarve coast in 2015.

Almargem said that it is "very attentive" to developments related to this process and that the existence of some concessions just 10 kilometres from the shoreline, the seismic and environmental risks inherent in the exploration process, the extraction and transportation of hydrocarbons and the possible construction of a gas pipeline between the Algarve and Sines are matters that are too serious for the public to be palmed off, dismissed and ignored without having a say.

CLICK HERE to see list of Exhibitors at the Mar Algarve Expo 2014.

http://www.lpro.pt/#!mar-algarve-expo-en/c1pwd

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