The redevelopment of the riverfront of Lisbon should gain a new breath this year, with the beginning of the rehabilitation of the Cais do Sodre and Field of onions and with the completion of the project, but even with the start of the works, to create a museum space dedicated to the discoveries in the Ribeira das Naus.
These are some of the projects that the Lisboa Tourism Association (ATL) considers "essential to position Lisbon a new level of tourist excellence" and is expected to be developed during 2015, as announced Friday at a press conference .
Those already listed projects join others such as the creation of accessibility assisted the Castle Hill in Lisbon, the development of the open project to the public Marques de Pombal Palace in Oeiras, and the opening of a new interpretive center in Sintra which should take place before the summer. According to the deputy chairman of the ATL, Mário Machado, ongoing are already creating working groups "for the development of centralities Arrábida and Arc de Tajo" and the "selection of themes and content development" for a set of scripts theme entitled "Lisbon stories".
In his speech, the vice president of the Lisbon Chamber, chairman of the ATL, highlighted the importance of "continuing the riverfront redevelopment effort," through the implementation of projects already announced for the Cais do Sodre and area between the Palace Square and the future terminal of Santa Apolonia cruise . Fernando Medina told Publico that everything is being done so that these contracts have early this year and revealed caution when asked about whether these investments will be financed with revenue from the Municipal Fee Tourist: "Within the ATL we reach an agreement, we will discuss which priority projects to be financed from now. "
It is true that, contrary to what came to be told when creating this rate was announced , the camera will not invest in the creation of a congress center in the Pavilion Carlos Lopes. "We thought there was a higher dose of consensus and recently found that would not exist," summarized Fernando Medina, stressing however that if there is a private investor to take on this initiative , "the camera will see with very good eyes and support, within its mandate" .
Regarding the creation of a museum space dedicated to the discoveries in the Ribeira das Naus, the socialist mayor said that the camera is currently "a dialogue with the Navy" for the realization of this intention, adding that his ambition is that by 2015 is achieved go beyond the development of the project, moving from paper to work.
Regarding the delivery of the municipality of South Station and Southeast to install a "maritime tourism gare", something that António Costa has been demanding for several years, Fernando Medina shows less optimistic. "We hope this mandate to reach an understanding with the government," he said.
The press conference on Friday also served to present "the main figures of the Lisbon tourism in 2014". Numbers, according to Mário Machado, show that the area "had a performance to all outstanding securities."
In the past year, Lisbon was the city in Europe where the number of overnight stays grew most in the previous year, having registered an increase of 15.5%. If you look at the number of foreign overnight stays in the Portuguese capital, there was an increase of 15.3%, which puts it in second place at European level, behind London. Also the room occupancy rate, the average price per sold room and the average price per available room increased from 2013 to 2014.
This year, the forecast is that the ATL in Lisbon open the doors 20 new hotels with over 1,600 rooms. Asked if he feared that these numbers might prove excessive, the president of ATL replied "no". Not only because "occupancy rates have risen and revenue per available room too," but also because Fernando Medina believes that "investors are the best people to evaluate" whether it is justified proceed with the installation of new hotels.
And what expectations does the ATL for the year that has just begun? "Our ambition is high and we are working for it," said socialist who once advocated that tourism growth that has been seen in Lisbon is the fruit of "a long breath work, great persistence and continuity over the years. "