The chairman of the Porto and North Portugal tourism board (TPNP) also called for "another look" at Francisco Sá Carneiro airport through greater investment by the national carrier.
The chair of the Porto tourism association, Luís Pedro Martins, who has just taken office for a second term, has defended the improvement of air connectivity to Porto and the North and rail links to Spain.
As air connectivity is one of the “flagships of the North region”, the chairman of the Porto and North Portugal tourism board (TPNP) also called for “another look” at Francisco Sá Carneiro airport through greater investment by the national carrier and in attracting new companies and routes.
This “other look” will make it possible to attract high-yield issuing markets, which is why it has asked for the government’s “commitment”.
“We are counting on the ministry of infrastructures to continue strategic projects such as the Douro railway line and the creation of the region’s air connectivity fund, as is the case in other destinations that compete with us,” said Luís Pedro Martins.
The chairman of the TPNP recalled that the working group set up to develop this issue resulted in a study already delivered to the government.
He added: “we anxiously await the ministry’s response because these exist beyond the terms of ministers.
Elected for the first time to lead the agency for the external promotion of Porto and the North at the end of 2020, and now re-elected for the triennium 2023-2025, Luís Pedro Martins stressed that the task ahead for the next three years is not easy because the economic consequences of the pandemic are still very present.
He warned that companies in the sector were still “not breathing a sigh of relief” and it would not be in the year 2023 with the war, skyrocketing inflation and the increase in energy and raw material costs that they would be able to acquire new “economic and financial robustness”.
In his inauguration speech, (he was sworn in on Wednesday) the re-elected chairman also highlighted “the excellent performance” of the region and, above all, how Porto and the North has already managed to regain 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 the value of income collected,” he stressed.
In this last vector, he added, the region reached “€700 million, a 20% growth compared to 2019, when the national average was 14%”.