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Portimão – expanded cruise ship docking area a reality by 2020

PortimaoFerryArielThe Portuguese government and Brussels are to fund the long-awaited redevelopment of Portimão’s quayside area and the dredging of the Arade in the dock area, to enable larger cruise ships to enter, turn and dock in safety.

An investment of €17.5 million has been set aside to carry out the work and boost the city’s cruise passenger tourist inflow from the current 15,000 per year, to 180,000 per year by 2030.

The work is expected to be completed by July 2020, which is good news for Council president, Isilda Gomes who has been waiting for years for confirmation of a start date, watching with increasing dismay as politicians said one thing and did another.

The quayside area will be extended and two separate docking areas created, one sufficiently long to welcome larger cruise ships which is expected to treble the number of cruise ships docking in the Algarve’s only suitable facility.

With Lisbon already a major cruise destination, Portimão now enters the grown-up market and Gomes now needs to make Portimão a city where cruise passengers have an enjoyable time, rather than wander the streets looking at closed shops.

The mayor already has plans to route cruise passengers into the city centre where they can gape at local architecture and get a feel for the history of the city, rather than rely on the current retail offering, which is patchy at best.

With the quayside area still controlled by the Port Authority, its development may be delayed unless the council can gain control and crate pleasant ‘welcome to Portimão’ facilities.

Gomes has had enough time to think about how to service this soon-to-be-expanded market and has until 2020 to ensure the city is in top form and ‘cruise tourist ready.’

© algarvedailynews.com

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