Portuguese campsites want clamp down on wild camping
Campsites along the Algarve and Alentejo coastlines are demanding that the authorities in Portugal get hard with wildcamping motorhomers as they say that this practice is 'out of control' and is causing them losses worth millions of euros.
Joaquim Lourenço, secretary for the Alentejo and Algarve Campsite Association (APCAA) told the Lusa News Agency that there are hundreds of motorhomes, 95 percent of them owned by foreigners which are wild camping by the beaches of the Algarve and the Alentejo coast and that not enough is being done to put a stop to it. He claims that this is causing losses to businesses as well as the economy of Portugal as a whole. As a result, his association has made proposals for the law to be changed.
The organisation claims that people are parking in land administered by the National Maritime Authority (AMN) which is technically illegal although the AMN is unable to take action because the law requires them to be given notice to depart which is in practice very difficult as the addresses are abroad and most of the time the visitors do not speak Portuguese. Theefore only Portuguese drivers get penalised.
Desidério Silva, President of the Algarve Regional Tourism Board (RTA) notes that whereas motorhomes do bring money to the local economy, they need to stay on sites with all the necessary conditions of safety and hygiene. At the same he says that his organisation is working with local authorities to develop the motorhome market.
The Alentejo and Algarve Campsite Association estimates that there are around 180,000 motorhomes in the area at any one time in April and that this represents a loos of around EUR65,000 in taxes not collected by the State.