Still far from the end of this pandemic, and in the midst of a financial crisis, the Government's margin to support the recovery of the economy and families is much smaller than desired. Unfortunately, in the period that followed the external intervention, with the public accounts in order, the obsession with the budget surplus and the captivations that hindered public investment prevented us from preparing the country for the future.
However, the State and many of our municipalities are responsible for planning in the short, medium and long term the fate of the territory, each of our regions and each of our municipalities, without neglecting the social action of the most disadvantaged, support for small business owners and those entering this new reality of national unemployment.
Because the reality demands it: in the last six months alone, unemployment has increased globally by 42%, walking sadly at a rapid pace for the 600 thousand unemployed, with an estimated population of no more than 4,7 million Portuguese, or well below half the global population.
It is unequivocal that the immediate bet should be on tourism, investing in projects and niches such as:
Religious tourism - promote religious buildings, religious art and paths, which have a heritage value and a tourist curiosity that can be catapulted much more into the national tourist sphere. Noteworthy are the Caminhos de Santiago, the Passadiços do Paiva, Norte Litoral, etc;
Gastronomic tourism - despite public health constraints, bet on a strategy that supports our restoration, enhancing and disseminating the diversity and specialty of each of our regions, linked to meat, fish, traditional sweets and the wine sector;
River beaches - Portugal has several rivers that bathe it, passing by lakes and lagoons, unique and differentiating landscapes, where the footbridges and support infrastructures that, over the last few years, were created and the pleasantness of these spaces are so unusual that deserve to be explored to their full potential. In addition to the appreciation that they could bring to many of the parishes in Portugal, it would undoubtedly be an alternative to the north of our beaches;
Local tourism - promote local nature accommodation, not only as an alternative to accommodation in big cities like Lisbon and Porto, but as a way of attracting tourism to real Portugal and to the entire national territory, at the level of our villages.
Mountain tourism and natural parks, agrotourism, health tourism are other examples that we can and must explore in order to diversify the supply and stimulate tourist demand, contributing to the economic recovery and recovery of the thousands of jobs that have been lost in the last few months.
We all know that tourism, in all its dimensions, is an essential activity for the socioeconomic development of Portugal. Without it we would not have recovered from the last economic crisis and it is certain that without it we would not recover from this. Let us work, therefore, so that it is not a new missed opportunity.