Although unemployment in Portugal has risen considerably, the Portuguese youth are adapting to cope with the changing economic environment. While parts of the commercial district in Lisbon may be quieter than in the past, this isn’t true for the whole of the city. In a former silversmiths Street in Lisbon enterprising graduates have set up to 45 brand-new start-up companies in a project called Startups Lisboa. Not surprisingly these companies are Internet-based.
For instance one entrepreneur has designed a web platform connecting professionals and tradesman to potential clients. In the past this business might not have done so well, but now businesses are more anxious to advertise their skills. The project has gained a lot of inspiration from the United States, as it is hoped that having several entrepreneurs working side-by-side will help boost optimism and ideas.
The project is already proving hugely popular, as the president of Startups Lisboa has already received more than 600 applications. According to its president, Joao Vasconcelos, studies have shown that Portuguese people are amongst the most enterprising in Europe, and many unemployed businesspeople are choosing to create their own jobs by moving into these types of places.
This entrepreneurship is also taking place outside the capital, as young people have begun starting up dozens of new companies using funds from the European Union and the state. Apparently many are turning towards farming, as government data shows approximately 260 new farms are being created every week. Even though they may not have any farming experience, they may have graduated with other skills such as business, technology and management that are invaluable in helping to set up a company.
A plan worth €6.5 million has been approved to help boost tourism within the Algarve area. Around €4.3 million is to be invested in direct flights to Faro airport. These direct flights are to be promoted through joint campaigns with travel operators and airlines, and the general intention is to promote the Algarve to strategic markets worldwide next year.
These include Canada, France, Austria and Scandinavia as well as more traditional markets such as Britain, Belgium, Ireland and Germany. There is also to be an attempt to reinforce markets within Russia, Poland and Spain. The main aim of this plan is to boost the number of nights spent by tourists in the Algarve outside the height of the tourism season.
The neighboring region of Alentejo is also to promote its resources which are very similar to that of the Algarve. It’s hoped the two regions will work together, as someone staying in one region could be interested in lengthening their stay to explore the neighboring region which would prove beneficial for everyone. A major aim of the plan is to promote the relationship between the Algarve and the Alentejo regions, in the hope of attracting new markets and expanding existing ones.
There is to be an investment of €200,000 which will mainly be funded by the EU, to help consolidate the partnership between the two regions, although each region will contribute €15,000 towards this project. The project will take place over the next couple of years, and will include plans to produce a booklet detailing walking and cycling trails, eco-trails and bird watching as a way of boosting tourism.
Buyers looking to purchase holiday homes or homes to rent out in Portugal have traditionally chosen to purchase property in popular resorts along the coast. It’s easy to see why as Portugal has miles of beautiful sandy beaches, and the longest coastal National Park in Europe. However the country has much more to offer than sun and sand, and more buyers are choosing to look for properties away from the major resorts.
The scenery in Portugal can be absolutely beautiful, and it can offer rolling hills, enticing vineyards and Roman ruins, all of which are easily accessible. Property here presents excellent value, and compares very well with popular areas in other countries such as Provence or Tuscany. Many travellers are becoming more sophisticated over their demands for holiday destinations, and are constantly on the lookout for something offering something a little different combined with the familiarity of holidaying in Europe.
The number of overseas visitors is increasing, as in 2011, 14.1 million people visited Portugal, an increase of 3.8% compared to the year before as the country enjoyed record levels of tourism. Some 1.2 million were British, and this figure had increased by 12%. All in all, British tourists spent 6.3 million nights in Portugal, an increase of 14%.
This is just as well as the Portuguese economy receives around 10% of its revenue through tourism. A recent report in Reuters showed hotel revenues increased by 1.5% in July compared to a year earlier, and 915,000 foreigners visited the country, spending more nights in Portugal on average compared to a year ago.