“I don't feel like we have too much tourism. What we really need is [to] prioritise tourism and we have even more potential for growth”, Bolieiro told journalists during a 'shuttle' trip to Lagoa do Fogo, on the island of São Miguel, which lasted about an hour.
The Azorean executive also admitted the need for the territory to increase the places of interest to visit and stay - to have more diversity for tourists -, "discipline" access and "control the critical mass of the visit", in order to promote "the protection of the visited space".
In his opinion, the solutions that the Regional Government is applying, such as the 'shuttle' to transport tourists to Lagoa do Fogo, in the municipality of Ribeira Grande, "help to create charisma in the space visited and in the way in which you arrive", and even "a respectability" on the part of visitors.
“We want to receive visitors and we want those who visit us to respect our environmental identity and, above all, be sustainable, in the operation of natural assets that we give to visitors”, he said.
The representative went today to "verify" the service on the ground, just over a month after the start of the 'shuttle', and said that he has realised that "what matters is not a route, it is, above all, an experience".
With this transport at the access to Lagoa do Fogo, circulation was limited to residents' vehicles and prohibited to rent-a-cars.
The 'shuttle' is free for residents and costs five euros for non-residents.
This transport service, provided by the company Atlântico Energy, leaves from Caldeira Velha, in the municipality of Ribeira Grande, and ends at Casa da Água, in Lagoa, and then takes the opposite route.
Transport operates on a 'hop-on, hop-off' basis and covers approximately 14 kilometers, passing through six tourist attractions, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, every day of the week, including national, regional or municipal holidays, until September 30th.
“This solution guarantees an experience of coming to a 'spot' [place] that is a true paradise for contemplation and undisturbed stay. That is, here we are and there is not a route of noisy vehicles, beeping because of the difficulty of parking”, observed Bolieiro.
After highlighting “the humility of recognising that everything is in progress and improvement”, the person in charge explained the “boldness and ambition to gain more content” for the sector.
“And the content we want is to ensure more experiences, better experiences for our visitors. From the outset, in terms of information, we want it to be more digital and multilingual”, he said, referring to the expansion of the viewpoints.