Tourism in the economy
According to the Portuguese Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), tourism consumption contributed 10.5% to GDP in 2008 (it represented 10.5% in 2007 and 9.7% in 2006). The TSA estimates that employment in tourism-characteristic industries/activities represented around 8% of total employment in 2007.
The Cross-Border Movements Survey shows total visitors of some 23.8 million in 2007, 5.4% up on the 22.6million recorded in the previous year (figures include same day visitors). Tourism receipts totalled EUR 7.4 billion in 2008 compared with EUR 6.7 billion in 2006.
At the national level and as part of a general public administration reform, all centrallyorganised tourism bodies were merged in 2007 into a single body, Turismo de Portugal I.P., the National Tourism Authority (NTA) (Figure 4.24).
Under the aegis of the Secretary of State for Tourism and the Ministry of Economy and Innovation, the NTA is responsible for the promotion, valorisation and sustainability of tourism activities, under a specific umbrella approach, namely: enhancing and developing tourism infrastructure; developing training opportunities; supporting investment in the sector; co-ordinating the promotion of Portugal as a tourism destination – both internally and externally; and regulating and inspecting gambling activities.
At the regional level, the legislation relating to the responsibilities of Portugal’s tourism regions also underwent revision. Eleven Regional Tourism Bodies (Entidades Regionais de Turismo – ERTs) were created to oversee regional tourism development in the country. These act as management bodies with financial and administrative autonomy and are geographically defined in accordance with the five regional areas that reflect territorial units used for statistical purposes under NUTS 2 (Norte, Centro, Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, Alentejo and Algarve) and with the six tourism development poles (Douro, Serra da Estrela, Leiria-Fátima, Oeste, Litoral Alentejano e Alqueva).
ERTs are responsible for adding value and promoting the sustainable development of tourism resources, acting as primary communications interfaces with the NTA. Their main responsibilities are to: contribute to national and regional tourism policy; ensure the development and valorisation of tourism products and resources; monitor the tourism product; and promote the regions in the domestic market while co-operating with both the NTA and the seven Regional Agencies for Tourism Development (ARPTs) in the external promotion of regional destinations.
In the autonomous regions of Madeira and A?ores the Regional Directorates contribute to ensuring the implementation of tourism policy as defined by the autonomous regional governments. Their main responsibilities are to: contribute to regional tourism policy; foster the development of the tourism product; and ensure the co-operation from the regions both with national and international bodies and the NTA.
The seven ARPTs correspond geographically to the seven promotional destinations in international markets (Porto e Norte, Centro de Portugal, Lisboa Regi?o, Alentejo, Algarve A?ores and Madeira). These are private associations drawn both from the public and private sectors that have a formal protocol (contract) with Turismo de Portugal I.P. Their main responsibilities are to: elaborate and execute the regional tourism promotional plans in accordance with their contract with the NTA; consolidate international promotion; and reinforce the strategic umbrella approach.