The Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, was confident on Monday that the sector will resume “the growth path” soon and assured that its professionals are ready to welcome tourists looking for Portugal.
“We are ready, we are open and we are in a broken grip,” said Rita Marques, during the ceremony to celebrate a protocol with the Association of Thermal Baths of Portugal for the award of the “Clean & Safe” seal to the Spa of Portugal, held in São Pedro do Sul, in the district of Viseu.
In his view, it is important to send a “message of hope, of optimism”, because the last few months “have been difficult”.
“It is important, we all professionals in the tourism sector, to send this positive, assertive, clear message that we are ready, we are open and we are confident that very soon we will resume the growth path,” he said.
According to the Secretary of State, the tourism sector has been preparing with various initiatives, such as the ‘Clean & Safe’ label, which was a “global pioneer”.
“It is a very simple initiative, but it is primarily intended to encourage trust,” he said.
The ‘Clean & Safe’ Seal is available to companies and other concessionaires and/or spa holders. This afternoon, it was already posted in the Spa D. Afonso Henriques, in the Spa of S. Pedro do Sul.
Last year, the growth of this sector reached 15%. In Portugal, there are currently 46 active spas.
In his opinion, “the level of adherence to the seal is a demonstration of the recognition of its importance in generating confidence in tourists, as is evident from the more than 17,000 adherents in just two months”.
“We believe that the extension to the spa, a sector in which Portugal stands out, will be an important confidence factor that will contribute to the attraction of national and international tourists,” he said.
The “Clean & Safe” Seal for the Spa of Portugal was created by Turismo de Portugal in partnership with the Association of Thermal Baths of Portugal.
The president of the Association of Thermal Baths of Portugal, Vítor Leal, said that this is a “particularly difficult time” for this sector.
“Last year, we had a growth of around 15%. In February, we had a growth of around 20% and all the data we had were of a double-digit growth,” he said.
However, at the moment, there are “80% invoicing drops and a drop in the number of 80% acries,” he lamented.