Proandi was talking to Lucinda Amorim, Councilwoman for Economic Development, Tourism, Agriculture and Fisheries of Póvoa de Varzim municipality, about how city of Póvoa de Varzim is returning after the State of Emergency in Portugal, the strategies to boost tourism and the opinion about Erasmus internships.
(Q) What measures is the municipality taking in this phase to revitalize tourism in the city?
(A) I believe that, at this moment, everything that refers to security measures will be the best sign of visit to the city. And, as the soul of a city resides in the people who inhabit it, the people of this city have also shown signs of great civility, as can be seen at this time of the festivities of S. Pedro (municipal holiday, 29 June), undoubtedly, the most difficult test of containment, given its character popular associated with expressions of conviviality and collective joy strongly linked to this event. Regarding the beaches, which naturally are traditionally a major attraction factor during the bathing season, the city bets on complying with all the recommendations of General Health Directorate, visible from the distance between the traditional tents that dominate the urban beach landscape. In addition, the municipality placed gel dispensers on all beach entrances and reinforced hand washing devices next to the foot washers. In addition, rotation measures and limitation of unorganized parking on the seafront were implemented to limit access to the beach, which include prohibition of car circulation and parking on Avenida dos Banhos. This set of measures also invites the non-concentration of people on the urban beach, inviting them to look for other coastal locations within our municipality. Regarding the tourist offer, the municipality created a new exception framework for the permission to extend outdoor terraces connected to restaurants and beverages. As for the hotel sector, awareness and concern about the quality and safety of the offer is evident, visible in the attribution of the clean & safe seal. The Municipality instituted increased public hygiene and safety conditions, which, however, will be more effective the greater the contribution and responsibility of each one.
(Q) What challenges do you consider to exist at this moment for citizens of Póvoa and tourists to return to normal?
(A) The “normality” that we knew will not exist immediately. Therefore, the essential challenge will be the adaptation (of the tourist offer and of the tourists themselves) and resilience in view of the current conditions that do not prevent us from enjoying what, in terms of tourism, the municipality has to offer and even allows the development of the offer in new, differentiated terms with a common denominator, the increase in sanitary and hygienic quality.
(Q) Since Proandi has already had many Erasmus participants doing their curricular internships here in Póvoa de Varzim, how important is that for the city? Do you consider that companies are receptive to continue to host Erasmus participants given this new situation caused by COVID-19?
(A)With regard to interns who pass through the Municipal Tourism Service, they are welcomed with open arms and we believe they have a little bit of Póvoa de Varzim in their hearts. In addition to this more emotional part, we believe that contact with another culture and other working methods is important. As for receptivity, at the moment we are not accepting trainees from any educational institution, for the sake of space and security, in addition to not being the ideal time to provide them with the best experience.
(Q) Finally, we would like you to leave a positive message and an invitation to visit and spend your summer holidays in Póvoa de Varzim.
(A) I think that for all that was said before, the city of Póvoa de Varzim is outlined as a great option as a vacation destination. Spread out by the Atlantic Ocean, it stands out for its energy and the spaces and equipment it has, in addition to its privileged location in the north of the country. As added value and in the current context, we have the issue of health, the good numbers presented and the sense of responsibility of the people. More than ever, the city’s promotional slogan makes sense: “Póvoa de Varzim… it’s good to live here!”