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New tourism chief criticises delay over Lisbon's second airport

jesus4892Consolidating 'the strength of tourism and preparing the sector for the future' is the stated mission of the Portuguese Tourism Confederation, the umbrella organisation for all the tourism business associations in the country.
 
The Confederation's new three-year board took office on Monday at a ceremony attended by the Prime Minister and other notable suits, at which the new president of the CTP listed several challenges for tourism which, "like all economic activities, is subject to cycles of prosperity, recession and recovery."
 
According to the CTP president, Francisco Calheiros, the sustained growth of tourism requires, "redoubled attention" in seven strategic areas. The first of which is transport infrastructure, most concerningly the new Lisbon airport, or lack of.
 
Calheiros joked at the plethora of inane reasons that have been used to thwart the start of a new airport in Montijo, including a rise in sea level and that the Cristo Rei statue overlooking the Tagus could be an obstacle to landings.
 
“Too much is said. There is a lot of chatter which can not continue," noting the lack of a second Lisbon airport is a threat to tourism and to the economy.
 
Calheiros stated also that tourism has particularities that other economic activities do not have, such as seasonality, and therefore "a specific or adapted treatment" is justified in the field of industrial relations, "or at least some common sense about the changes to be made."
 
The tourism president’s third comment was on taxation, "It is not possible to compete with tourist destinations similar to ours and gain a global share, without a fair and moderate fiscal policy which guarantees at least equal conditions compared to competitors," he said, demanding "a market model with lower costs for businesses."
 
Lastly, the Confederation wants to "develop the theoretical basis for the creation of the European Tourism Confederation."
 
"Tourism represents about 10% of GDP in Europe. It is the third largest sector in the European Union economy and is estimated to employ around 17 million people,” so should have a higher profile and recognition.
 
Between 2012 and 2018 Tourism “has become the engine of our economy and one of the main factors in the country's development," concluded Calheiros, leaving the challenged of reduced taxation and  less rigorous labour laws in the prime minister’s lap.
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