October saw the Portuguese Government up its expected rate of GDP for 2013 to -1.8 per cent from -2.3% and increased its growth expectations for 2014 to 0.8 per cent from 0.6 per cent, and at the same time confirm €150million of support for the country’s tourism sector.
The state backed financial aid for the tourism sector has been created with the aim of “creating the necessary conditions to extend credit loan payback deadlines acquired from banks by companies in the sector.” It will be available to companies operating in the tourism sector until 2015, and should reassure owners and buyers of property in Portugal that the government is committed to protecting the country’s valuable tourism industry.
Available through one of eight banks that are participating in the scheme, namely BPI, BES, Banco Internacional do Funchal, Santander Totta, Crédito Agrícola, CGD, Montepio Geral and Millennium BCP, the credit line was launched at the start of October.
Meanwhile, Portugal’s Economy Minster António Pires de Lima said at a conference in Oporto: “Tourism is one of the most dynamic and competitive sectors of our economy, which has shown exemplary behaviour in recent months and has contributed decisively to the balancing of our books”, said “This year Portugal has broken several tourism-generated revenue records”, added the Minister added, outlining how July saw the country receive the highest intake ever of revenue from tourism, as well as the largest accumulated amount of revenue for the first seven months of the year.
The figures are “historic, not only because they represent the best results ever,” continued Pires de Lima Minister, “but because they occurred at a particularly demanding and challenging economic moment”.
At the conference, the Minister congratulated Oporto for being selected by the travel publication Lonely Planet as “the best European destination in 2013.”