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Portugal preciso do Turismo?

Uwe Heitkamp – Não

Uwe Heitkamp

Vende-se… For Sale? No. Portugal was once the most beautiful country in the world: the sea, the beaches, the natural surroundings and its loveable people. And that’s why tourism arrived. And with tourism came money and greed. Natural beauty was turned into concrete. It is the same with purchased love. Now the whore must make herself pretty again every year with a lot of make-up. Fifty years of tourism have radically changed Portugal. The scars and the wrinkles in the ageing woman need increasing amounts of make-up. A visit to Portugal has deteriorated into a bus trip, a jeep safari, a visit to a dolphin and water park or to a fast food outing.
Once there were lots of jobs in traditional agriculture, in fishing, in the clothes industry. People didn’t earn much but at least the work made sense. Nowadays there’s precarious seasonal work lasting for six months. In the winter, waiters, receptionists, cleaners, bus drivers etc. go hungry and wonder why. Meanwhile, Portugal’s interior is dying out. Young people move to the city. They break with tradition and lose all important know-how, for example how to feed oneself. Shopping centres and high-rise buildings take the place of one’s own house and garden. Most foodstuffs have to be imported. And the interior catches fire because fewer and fewer people are living and working there.
We have become dependent on the aeroplanes that land in Faro and other places. Like drug addicts we depend on the needle of tourism. In any given year, twelve times as much rubbish is produced in August as in February; ten times as much sewage is produced and six times as many cars take to the roads. Beauty becomes an attraction and attraction becomes a business: including real estate speculation. People, we must think again. Let’s set limits to this crazy business of tourism. Let’s move back to the countryside. Let’s learn once again to be beekeepers (instead of barkeepers), farmers, shepherds and let’s give our work – and our lives – deeper meaning.


Jose Garrancho – Sim

Jose Garrancho

Portugal undoubtedly needs tourism.
We are a country with no major industries and with relatively undeveloped small-scale agriculture, which means that we have to import much of what we consume. Our economic area is enormous and very rich, but we have never been able to set up a fishing fleet and processing industry to match the resources. We import fresh, frozen and tinned fish. In short, we are an importing country.
Receptive tourism is an exporting activity par excellence, with permanent, renewable resources: we meet the expectations of those who visit us and we sell them great memories. However, our climate, our beaches, our countryside and our monuments remain here, and continue to be consumed by successive waves of tourists. And they help with our national balance of payments.
If those who govern us take care to preserve ecologically sensitive areas, and do not succumb to the pressures of the major real estate groups, the tourists will help to maintain those areas because they visit them and demonstrate their value to the local population, encouraging their protection and maintenance.
Monuments, traditions, handicrafts, gastronomy in all shapes and forms – traditional cuisine and confectionery, wines and liqueurs – are restored and improved.
As an activity, tourism makes use of a large workforce, not only those employed directly but also those upstream and downstream. It thus generates income for small local businesses and has a positive effect on salaries because traditional activities will try to stop their workforce moving to the tourist industry, which offers lighter, cleaner work.
Tourism is crucial.

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