Case Study - Sustainable Tourism in Lagos, Portugal

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College of Commerce Catering and Tourism

Sustainable Tourism

Case study on the tourism related problems of
Lagos, Portugal

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Rebecca Zug

19.11.2012

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary 3
2. Findings 4
3. Discussion 5
4. Conclusion and Recommendations 8
5. Implementation 8
6. References9

Case study: Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

1 1. Executive Summary

The reason why I choose Lagos for this case study is because I was living there from May 2012 – October 2012 and I think it is a good example for some problems which may occur due to tourism. However it is not an example for the typical mass tourism associated problems, because the nature of tourism in the Algarve is water sports related and therefore reflects a different lifestyle and attitude to the local environment.

Lagos

Lagos is a harbor town in the Portuguese Algarve coast. The region Lagos has about 30000 constant inhabitants, but due to the fact that Tourism brings 3 million people to the Algarve every year the amount of inhabitants may be tripled at certain times of the year. Furthermore it has the highest share of residents with foreigners in the whole country. It is probably the most popular destination in the Algarve, because it offers a great diversity of activities for the whole family but mainly the younger generation (water sports: surfing, kiting, wakeboarding, diving, kayaking, as well as a huge gastronomical repertory with countless English bars, restaurants (mainly foreign cuisine), but still kept its old flair in the carless old town due to its 2000 year old history. There are several beaches, one km long sandy beach and more small bays, which are although it is quite a big town still not the typical city beaches. There are only separated single restaurants directly at the beaches, keeping the “original” coastline, while buildings are only few hundred meters behind.

As you can see the problem is obvious as tourism caused kind of an invasion of foreigners on Lagos. A s very tough example: I did not use the Portuguese language ones because there were more foreigners around in town than Portuguese and even them adapted the English language so well (in the most important daily functions) that it was absolutely not necessary. This overcrowding of foreigners leads to a couple of tensions with the locals but there are some opportunities arising of tourism there as well which I am going to explain in the following study.

First of all I am going to analyze all the problems occurred by tourism differentiated by their nature. First the problems occurred by the amount of foreigners (- socio cultural impacts) and then the environmental impacts and their economic consequences. Furthermore I am going to point out the opportunities which are already given but not used in this area. These opportunities lead to the solutions I may suggest to overcome the problems and finally I am going to write about the implementation, how the solutions may be adopted.

2 2. Findings

The main problem of Lagos is that the tourism sector and therefore the main business sector is ruled by foreigners. Most hotels, surf camps and water sports providing facilities as well as bars are owned by foreign people, mostly English and Germans which is the reason why most of the tourists are English and German too. Other than in most other vacation spots the tourism facilities are not only owned but run as well solely by foreigners. The reason for that is the new “fashion” of employing foreign interns rather than locals for every department in hospitality and gastronomy, because they are even more cheap (mostly board and lodging and a little pocket money) than locals. This phenomena is not used in lower quality accommodation but, as I experienced in former internships, in up to 5 star hotels as well. Of course it is a profitable way for the owners, because interns are highly...
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