Some 300 plus people attended the Local Lodging Seminar in Faro on 21st April, in Faro. It was certainly a full house with a multi-national audience, representing various industries including, property management agencies, letting companies, lawyers as well as individual property owners.
The Secretary of State for Turirsm Adolfo Mesquita Nunes was present and gave an overview of the introduction of the regulations stating that he was open to constructive comment and suggestions on bringing about further improvement.
The seminar included introductions from the Mayor of Faro also representing AMAL, the Vice President of Turismo do Algarve and myself. There were then a number of presentations from Turismo de Portugal, ASAE, SEF, the Judicial Police, GNR and finally the National association of Local Lodging Establishments. As expected the presentation from SEF, which included an on-line demonstration of the reporting procedures, drew many questions as it was clear that not everyone who attended was aware of the reporting conditions, and why they had been put in place.
The seminar also served to launch the National Association of Local Lodging Establishments.
The Secretary of State unfortunately had to leave after about an hour and a half to attend an urgent meeting in Lisbon.
During the question time, which lasted 90 minutes, there were many questions concerning the new regulations, the necessity of reporting to SEF, data privacy, etc, etc. An excellent suggestion was made that the need for carbon monoxide detectors should be included in the regulations where a gas supply was being provided. Also there was a lengthy debate on how to get more owners to comply. This culminated with a pledge by me that we would meet with Turismo de Portugal, ASAE and NALLE shortly to see the best way to seek the cooperation of the large rental advertisers in the UK, to mention on their websites the need for properties to have an AL in Portugal.
An evaluation was conducted at the end of the seminar and there was an overwhelming consensus, that the attendees had found the seminar useful and had improved their knowledge.
This is the first time that a seminar of this type involving nearly a dozen government officials had been held on this subject.