"Tourism in particular throughout 2022 played an extremely important, irreplaceable role in the Portuguese economy. I can't see any problem with that," said Mário Centeno, from Portugal central bank.
The governor of the Bank of Portugal on Friday defended the importance of tourism for Portugal, refuting that its weight can be a problem, and stressed that it was not the sector that created the most jobs.
Mário Centeno was speaking during the presentation of the June “Economic Bulletin” at the Money Museum in Lisbon.
“Tourism in particular throughout 2022 played an extremely important, irreplaceable role in the Portuguese economy. I can’t see any problem with that,” he said.
For the governor of the Bank of Portugal (BoP), “tourism is an important sector for the Portuguese economy.
“Woe betide us if we did not take sustainable economic advantage of what are our natural, cultural and atmospheric traditions. Tourism is part of us. Those who do not want it have to choose other living conditions”, he argued.
During the presentation of the upward revision to above 2% of the growth of the Portuguese economy until 2025, Mário Centeno stressed that the two main engines driving the economy are exports – where tourism comes in – and investment.
However, Centeno stressed that this was not the sector that contributed to greater job creation between 2019 and 2022.
Between 2019 and 2023, employment grew by 12%, corresponding to 348,000 more jobs – excluding the public administration, he pointed out.
“The sectors that contributed most to employment growth are the information, communication, real estate, consulting and science sectors,” he said, justifying that in 2019 these sectors represented 10.8%, there was a 35% growth (there were 112,000 more jobs), above the average of the Portuguese economy.
According to the head of the central bank, the average salary in this sector is €1,806, a growth of 24% compared to 2019.
“On the other hand, accommodation, catering and transport grew 44,000 [jobs] in terms of employment, a growth of 9%, less than the national average. These sectors weighed 15% of employment in 2019 and had an average salary of €1,197, having grown by 16%,” he said.
Centeno is convinced that there is “a silent revolution” which is “the transformation of qualifications in Portugal”.
“For this revolution to succeed it needs the demand by companies to meet the supply that families are generating in Portugal, because those who invest in training are always the families. The sectors that grow the most are the sectors that need the most qualifications”, he stressed.