Over 20 thousand foreigners acquired residency permits for Portugal in 2012, moving from primarily from the UK, Spain, Holland and Germany, said the Minister of the Interior.
At a presentation ceremony for "Living in Portugal," an international programme to promote residential tourism, Miguel Macedo said that the figures are very significant and show the importance that tourism has to Portugal, as many who enjoy travelling here also decide to live here on a permanent basis.
Crime: highlighting the professionalism of the security forces, Macedo said that "Portugal is today, as in the past, one of the European countries with the lowest crime rate in Europe."
The minister also ensured that Portugal will continue to be a safe country, which is "our first and main concern."
Also present at the ceremony was the Foreign Minister, Paulo Portas, who called the project a "strategic product" for the country.
"Portugal is in Europe, close to Africa, a flight away from Latin America, has sun, sea, surf, golf, religious tourism, nature tourism, health tourism, business tourism, event tourism, excellent cuisine, is hospitable and is a safe country. We have to know how to sell, attractively and competitively, because there are few countries in Europe that guarantee all of the above" he said in a short speech that sums up Portugal's offering in a few sentences.
Looking at the Algarve's 'sun and sand' promotion for this year it is increasingly evident that one part of government gets the drift while the minister in change of tourism is locked in the past.