Luís Pedro Martins took office, this Wednesday, for a second term as President of Associação de Turismo do Porto e Norte (ATP).
At the inauguration ceremony, which took place this Wednesday at Palácio da Bolsa, in Porto, the president of Associação de Turismo do Porto e Norte set as two of the main courses of action for the triennium 2023-2025 the strengthening of connectivity air and rail mobility of Porto and North, asking for the help of the Government.
Since air connectivity is one of the main goals of the region, Luís Pedro Martins called for another look at Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, not only through a greater investment by the Portuguese air carrier, but also by attracting new airlines and routes, thus allowing to attract other inbound markets.
“We rely on the Ministry of Infrastructure to continue strategic projects such as the Douro Line or to create the Fund for Air Connectivity in the region, as is the case in other competing destinations”, said the re-elected president, who is also the President of the Regional Entity of Turismo do Porto e Norte de Portugal (TPNP).
Luís Pedro Martins recalled that, during his first mandate, a working group was created in the region on strengthening air connectivity, which resulted in a study already delivered to the former Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos. “We eagerly await a response from the Ministry because these exist beyond the mandates of ministers,” he added.
The president of ATP also recalled that the task ahead for the next three years will not be easy, as the economic consequences of the pandemic are still very present.
“It is essential that there is continuity of support schemes for businesses. Businesses in the sector are still not breathing a sigh of relief and it will certainly not be in the year 2023, with an armed conflict on our continent, with inflation skyrocketing, with the increase in the costs of energy and raw materials, that they will be able to acquire another economic-financial robustness.”
The president also showed that Turismo do Porto e Norte is available to, together with the new Secretary of State for Tourism, Trade and Services, Nuno Fazenda, work on the reform of Law n.º 33/2013, which establishes the legal regime of the regional tourism areas in mainland Portugal, their delimitation and characteristics, as well as the legal regime in which the regional tourism entities are organised and operate.
“It is a law that is outdated does not respond what was the spirit of the legislator, not least because the regions have proved that we can follow a path of greater administrative and financial autonomy, without putting at risk the alignment with the tourism authority and with Turismo de Portugal. All regions without exception have proved that they know how to ensure and maintain this alignment, we know that together we are stronger and that there is a brand that unites us all, the Portugal brand”, he stated.
In his inauguration speech, Luís Pedro Martins also took the opportunity to highlight the excellent performance of the region in 2022 and, above all, the way in which Porto and North managed to resume pre-pandemic performance levels.
“We have surpassed all the indicators for 2019, whether in the number of guests (6 million), the number of overnight stays (11 million) and revenue”, said the president, adding that, in this last one, the region reached “the 700 million euros, a growth of 20% compared to 2019, when the national average was 14%”.
A feat that, he stressed, was achieved with funds much lower than those of competing markets. “Accomplishing and achieving what we achieved with a budget of one million and 400 thousand euros, when, by way of example, our neighbours in Galicia have allocated, for international promotion alone, 16 million euros, is a remarkable result.”
For the mandate that now begins, Turismo do Porto e Norte wants to implement a set of goals that range from attention to supporting businesses, to encouraging and stimulating projects that have the purpose of retaining talent and mitigating the shortage of human Resources.
“We also want to pave the way and be a benchmark for improving the content and tourist experience in the destination, stimulating the dynamics of the territory with tourist events”, also recalled Luís Pedro Martins.
The new ATP’s board also intends to continue the major investment to the commitments to digitalisation and sustainability, to invest in new models of marketing and distribution, monitoring and auditing of the tourist destination to improve the ability to take and support decision-making by the public and private partners and to deepen the relationship with the neighbouring regions of Galicia and Castile and Leon.
Luís Pedro Martins was re-elected president of Associação de Turismo do Porto e Norte last December 15th and has as members of the governing bodies major entities in the region, such as Câmara Municipal do Porto, which is the vice-president of the Board, Câmara Municipal de Braga, Associação Comercial do Porto, Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro, Fundação de Serralves, Fundação Casa da Música, Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto, Irmandade dos Clérigos, Alfândega do Porto, Museu do Porto Futebol Clube do Porto, Associação Porto Destino de Golfe, and IPDT, but also world class businesses such as the Hotel Hilton Porto Gaia, which also is the vice-president of the Board, Rollertown, Clube Viajar, A.N.E. Tours, B’Trust, Leading, Grape Ideas – Sogrape Group, José Silva Carvalho Catering, and also Três Séculos.