British and French chambers host conversation with André Jordan

The founder of the modern luxury golf tourism concept André Jordan shared his reminiscences of the past and views on the future at lunch promoted by the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC) and the French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCILF) in Lisbon on 11 December.

An essential and brilliant mind in the tourism and real estate development sectors in Portugal for five decades, the Braziian-Portuguese entrepreneur of Polish-Jewish origins highlighted the wealth and employment created in the Algarve, an area of Portugal which was blighted by poverty and a lack of infrastructure.
In a ‘fireside chat’ approach moderated by Patrícia Liz, Managing Partner of Savills Portugal, André Jordan admitted that the real estate industry was “totally affected and influenced by outside events”
“We are worried by the central banks which are, because of a certain outdated habit, against the property industry whereas before they weren’t because they didn’t want their money standing still and not working for them” he said.
He also said that the world was facing challenges for which there was “no solution” and which are presented not just as a responsibility but as a blame. “All those things, which when I was young, made us proud – the progress, cars, planes, plastic (which his mother thought was a marvel) have now become “all bad” when in fact we aren’t to blame at all because it is all part of development and the great prosperity the world had seen was rooted in these developments.
“We have to see that the great poverty in the world which is much less than compared to what it used to be, particularly in Brazil when a few families dominated the wealth and 90% of her exports came from coffee, came from this progress” he said.
Turning to global warming, André Jordan pointed out that despite the criticisms of teenage environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg, before she came on the scene the world was “blind to the problems” that the world is facing. “Here was this child who saw that these problems would affect her and her generation while adults were happy to worry about it later” he said.
“People are very selfish. There is a lack of system and organisation with clear objectives on how to deal with the consequences of climate change. What is needed is a consensus on a world level to deal with it” he added; a programme similar to that used in companies to deal with this “really serious global threat.”

Technological Progress
“We were able to overcome so many problems, from plagues and diseases like polio and we have to work together to solve these environmental problems” he said.
Artificial Intelligence, he explained, would put millions of people out of work, and that with the pace of change, for each 1000 made unemployed only 100 jobs would be created. On this, he felt there needed to be a global agreement that AI would stop at a certain point.
It also made him angry when Donald Trump was flippant about nuclear weapons and Iran. “Whoever used them will suffer the consequences in return. Everyone knows this and won’t use the bomb”.
“We have arrived at the time when all of us have to be great statesman and accept the great threats facing humanity as if they were our own.
André Jordan said he didn’t want to “dampen the mood” but warned that humanity was facing the consequences of a revolution in technology and artificial intelligence and it didn’t really know how to deal with the possible consequences of mass-unemployment as many routine jobs would be undertaken by robots and machines.

Causes for good
“I have always thought it worthwhile to get involved in causes in which there is no personal economic interest and profits. You get a lot more pleasure out of it” he said of the various youth causes he has been attached to over the years.
“In this respect I have allied my self to causes linked to art and education, youth and did my part and when I felt I had fulfilled my mission, I moved on,” he explained saying when these associations and entities continued and prospered her felt a certain satisfaction.
He said that despite the problems it had caused, one shouldn’t forget the success of capitalism which had created democracy, progress and had brought the best talents to the business world.

The Algarve
On the development of the Algarve, taking out the success of the Golden Triangle and Quinta do Lago, André Jordan said the region was so much better and more developed when he had arrived in the region 50 years ago when there was scarce a cinema let alone hotels and developments.
“The Algarve was a poor, rural area which was very charming but has nothing there. There were no book shops, shopping centres or galleries, hardly any cinemas let alone a direct motorway and when I bought the land for Quinta do Lago I met a couple there who had never ever even been to Faro!”
He said there were no professionals overall and certainly not in the real estate sector which was restricted to people putting for sale adverts in the newspapers.
There was a certain tradition in terms of hotels, a tradition of great formality, it was treated by the English residents like a small colony, mostly middle class who didn’t have that much money. One English woman said to him “Oh, I hear you’re doing a development near the airport. How convenient for business people!”
“I think the Algarve today is still one of the best preserved tourist areas in the world. I’m not talking about Albufeira or Armação de Pêra but compared to Southern Spain with huge buildings just five metres apart from each other, there has been a lot of concern from the large developers to preserve the locality and build quality developments” he explained.
“It is actually cheaper to do developments which are environmentally sustainable and correct than not in the long run” he said of the various environmental and water management awards the André Jordan Group has won over the years for his flagship developments of Quinta do Lago, Belas Clube do Campo and Vilamoura XXI.

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Text&Photo: Essential Business

2019 Algarve Christmas Gala Dinner

Pinto Ribeiro Advogados reforça área de Direito da Família e Sucessões

A Pinto Ribeiro Advogados reforçou a área de Família e Sucessões com a integração de Filipa Oliveira.

Filipa Oliveira conta com mais de 10 anos de experiência na área de Família e Sucessões, tendo representado clientes particulares e grupos familiares em diversas questões de natureza familiar (como a elaboração de convenções antenupciais, processos de divórcio e regulação das responsabilidades parentais) e sucessória (como partilhas judiciais e extrajudiciais, testamentos e outras formas de planeamento sucessório, nacional ou de cariz internacional).

Antes de ingressar na Pinto Ribeiro Advogados, Filipa Oliveira colaborou com a JPAB – José Pedro Aguiar Branco Advogados, com a PLMJ entre 2016 e 2019 e, anteriormente, integrou a Sousa Machado, Ferreira da Costa e Associados, onde iniciou a sua especialização nas áreas de Família e Sucessões de 2009 a 2016.

Filipa Oliveira tem ainda, ao longo dos anos, sido presença assídua em conferências relativas ao tema de Direito da Família e Direito das Sucessões, nomeadamente como oradora no âmbito da formação contínua do Centro de Estudos Judiciários, na jurisdição de Família e Crianças. Vem ainda produzindo assiduamente artigos de opinião sobre os temas acima mencionados.

“A contratação da Filipa Oliveira surge integrada na estratégia assumida pelo nosso Escritório em modelar a sua prestação de serviços jurídicos às realidades concretas dos nossos Clientes, de forma funcionalmente integrada e multidisciplinar, sendo de destacar, a este respeito, as sociedades comerciais de estrutura familiar, a nível nacional, e os family offices, a nível internacional. Estamos certos de que o reforço da nossa capacidade no direito da família e sucessões, conjugado com a nossa experiência estabilizada no âmbito do direito civil, comercial e societário, permitirá oferecer tempos de resposta mais curtos, bem como fórmulas perfeitamente adaptadas às necessidades que somos chamados a suprir.”, comenta João André Antunes, managing partner da Sociedade.

Esta contratação visa, assim, em conjunto com os recentes reforços nas coordenações das áreas de Private Clients e Fiscal, dar uma resposta integrada às solicitações dos nossos clientes particulares e à cada vez maior complexidade das questões diariamente colocadas.

Para além desta lateral hiring, a Pinto Ribeiro Advogados continua a apostar no crescimento orgânico, com a recente promoção de quatro advogadas estagiárias a advogadas associadas: Rita Gabriel Passos (Bancário e Financeiro), Filipa Vaz, Helena Branquinho Carreiras (Comercial e Societário) e Joana Valente de Almeida (Contencioso e Arbitragem).

Portugal’s burgeoning ‘Sharing Economy’ to redefine lifestyle of future generations, according to experts

Portugal’s burgeoning ‘sharing economy’ has unlimited potential to enhance and redefine the lifestyle of future generations – but demands new solutions to promote long-term financial security, according to experts.

A brainstorming ‘think-tank’ hosted by the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC) brought together international business leaders from the co-living, co-working, construction, property and international investment sectors. It involved delegates from Russia, Australia, Germany, Tunisia, Brazil and Angola alongside British and Portuguese counterparts.

The debate considered the pros and cons of the ‘Sharing Economy’ and short-term usage verses long-term ownership.

The ‘Sharing Economy’ is a term used to describe new methods of distributing goods and services, which differs from traditional models involving corporations hiring employees and selling products to consumers. In the sharing economy, individuals rent or ‘share’ things like cars, homes and personal time to other individuals in a peer-to-peer fashion. Further ‘commercial business models’ see companies providing a mobile app that suppliers and customers use to buy and sell goods or services.

While many positive developments were discussed, experts also cautioned for greater governance and control as the nation adapts to new and emerging trends. Delegates in particular warned that a proliferation of ‘sharing schemes’ could lead to generations of possession-less people lacking long-term financial stability.

Pedro Clarke, Partner at A+Architecture, said a major risk with new movements including co-living and car-share schemes is the creation of life-long ‘service users’ without assets. “The risk is that people are becoming decapitalized because they are renting everything,” he said. “This could lead to issues later in life if they need to retire or raise cash. Traditionally, people have sold or traded their assets, but this will no longer be possible if people are no longer accumulating wealth. There is no doubting the immense benefits of the sharing economy, with 1pc of the global population consuming more than the remaining 99pc. I am supportive of the concept but clearly a balance must be struck. We must carefully consider the long-term effects and implications of future generations potentially having no financial stake in society.” 

The sharing economy has disrupted many traditional business models most notably affecting tourism, hospitality, working, living and transport sectors across Portugal.

Event sponsor Luis Silva, founding partner at Pedra Silva Arquitectos Lda, said the new movement is being fuelled by advances in technology along with economic and social change. “In recent years digital and creative start-ups have flourished in Portugal and disrupted the marketplace. They have capitalised on rapid changes in consumer behaviour and created new platforms geared towards greater choice and flexibility through shared assets. Within our industry we have witnessed major change in the way people are using space within the built environment. Co-living and co-working are two prime examples which continue to grow in popularity as people combine resources for greater experiences. Sharing maximises the use of an asset which is better for our planet, but also allows access to assets that otherwise would less accessible if the sharing concepts did not exist. This means the younger generation can kick start their businesses early by having access to shared workspace which can fast track business growth. The sharing economy is a fundamental part of Lisbon’s broader ‘smart city’ strategy to become more sustainable, competitive, participatory, creative, innovative and’ citizen centric’. Lisbon has drafted an urban development strategy for the coming decades committing more than €300million in related projects. Key objectives include attracting more inhabitants by improving the quality of housing, smart living services and smart ageing opportunities. The strategy also aims to drive growth, wealth and job creation by attracting more entrepreneurs and broadening access to higher education. While we already witnessing the positive impact of the sharing economy within this wider plan, it continues to hold huge potential to improve quality of life through increased energy efficiency, mobility, social cohesion, local regeneration and citizen participation.”

Liam O’Donnell from DNN said new generations are crying out for flexible solutions but they will need to be driven and implemented largely by the private sector. “People no longer live or work in one place or one city,” he said. “There is a growing demographic of people who don’t buy their first property until their mid-30s, with others choosing to live with parents until later in life. Given this backdrop people are looking for flexible solutions to live in their own space, without having to worry about long rental contracts. The sharing economy has great potential to provide solutions to these people. However, we need the right sort of investors who can supply capital to support new concepts. We cannot simply rely on government and public sector funding. We need serious players who believe in the concepts and can roll out ideas which have been successful elsewhere around the globe. One of Lisbon’s greatest assets is its growing international expat population bringing high-level skills and services. It’s a special place with all the raw materials to attract the top talent to drive new and emerging trends. The ‘sharing economy’ will play a major role in the future helping elevate and improve the lifestyle of younger generations. It will also play a fundamental role in the business community helping entrepreneurs take necessary risks without incurring huge cost.”

The debate led to a closer examination of the precise definition of the ‘Sharing Economy’. There are two main types of sharing economy enterprises. Firstly, ‘commercial business models’ in which a company provides (for a fee) a mobile app that suppliers and customers use to buy and sell goods or services. Secondly, ‘Not-for-profit initiatives’ usually based on the concept of book-lending libraries, in which goods and services are provided for free or for a modest subscription.

Humane City Live Founder Alexander Pichugin said there is a controversial aspect to the sharing economy. “There are certain platforms under the sharing economy umbrella which could be considered exploitation of the poorest segments of society, who essentially cannot afford to buy assets,” he said. “There remain questions surrounding ethics and sustainability as those that do not own assets tend to pay more for the same products over the course of a lifetime.”

Meanwhile, Besma Kraiem of IBK Partners said we are witnessing a paradigm shift within ownership. “Much of the sharing economy appears to involve people acquiring assets or part of the value chain and using them to provide services to other people who can’t afford them,” she said. “This is not the definition of sharing in its truest sense. My understanding of sharing is where people exchange goods or services for little or no cost. What we are discussing here is a completely new form of economy, and one which will require the development of new methods and solutions to protect people potentially without assets in the future. We cannot expect traditional models of wealth generation and security, which have been used to protect people in past, to be applicable in the future. We will need new solutions in response to new forms of economy.”

While cost is recognised as a key driving force powering the ‘Sharing Economy’ delegates also pointed out a series of other ‘lifestyle’ motivations steering new generations to flexible, short-term solutions.

 Williams Johnson Mota of B-Hive Living said: “The sharing economy is not only about reducing the burden of cost. We have found that people are making this choice for other reasons including social interaction, to be part of vibrant, international communities. Co-working and co-living spaces for instance attract people from all over the world. The transient nature of the modern working world means people may travel and work for many years before settling down. There is now a population of people who know where they wish to settle down later in life, however they want to work elsewhere perhaps for many years before doing so. They are doing this for life and work experience. These people need flexible living solutions until that time while retaining a sense of community and belonging. While sharing economy has transformed lifestyle options for many people, offering greater choice and flexibility there are still concerns surrounding governance and control. The industry has suffered scandals largely because it is susceptible to issues which do not affect normal business operations. This means there is a constant requirement to review legislation to tighten rules and regulations.”

As Lisbon’s co-living scene continues to boom, delegates agreed that Portugal’s large influx of international expats were making conscious choices to benefit from ‘sharing economy’ services. Many users are making specific ‘lifestyle choices’ based on short-term flexibility, despite having capital to invest in long-term ownership.

The debate was staged shortly after the release of an extensive report from Coliving Insights exploring co-living as an innovative future housing solution. The 72-page study highlighted work involving several delegates. To read more follow the link

CoWorkCentral founder Tom Davis said Lisbon’s ‘digital nomad’ scene is showing no sign of slowing down with a thriving start-up scene and expanding tech sector. “Lisbon is adapting rapidly to this changing landscape,” he said. “However, people’s needs and expectations are constantly changing, and the market must respond to that. Digital nomads are continuing to flood in on Schengen Visas for 3 months, briefly leaving and then moving back across. Lisbon is well and truly on the global co-working map and has an excellent reputation for high quality communal workspaces. With added profile from the likes of the annual Web Summit, the market is only likely to expand.”

New enterprise OneSpace – Capsule & Desk was recently set up in Lapa. Investor Helder Hussaine from Capital Holding said the co-work, co-live space was developed due to market demand. “We invest in a broad portfolio of property assets around the world, including Angola, Mozambique and Brazil,” he said. “We were very interested in the Portuguese market but didn’t want to opt for a conventional model. After researching in greater depth and listening to growing demand for co-living and co-working spaces we opened a 62 bedroom ‘Capsule & Desk’ site near the Assembleia da República in Lapa. It’s a vibrant area providing guests with flexibility to live and work on short term contracts.”

 BPCC CEO Chris Barton said the debate marked the seventh outing of the BPCC’s ‘think-tank’ series. “The BPCC started these thought-provoking events earlier in 2019 to isolate important topics which affect our members and create space for deep discussion,” he said. “I find it enormously satisfying that we were able to attract such a talented group representing a diverse cross-section of perspectives regarding the ‘Sharing Economy’. As with previous editions we were able to unite large enterprises and key industry players with SMEs and small business owners, in a more intimate environment where they would not ordinarily meet. This creates a fascinating debate where delegates can share their perspectives from across the spectrum. It is also hugely valuable from a networking perspective for our diverse membership base. Due to the positive response we expect to revisit and reassess the ‘sharing economy’ topic again in 2020.”

For more information on the BPCC visit the website phone: (+351) 213 942 020 or Email:

[email protected]  New companies which join now will avoid a fee increase coming into effect on 1 January, 2020 and will also benefit from a “free December”.

Text by Sam Pinnington of Pressing PR

Moneris com novo posicionamento digital

Há muito que a Moneris prossegue uma estratégia de inovação e transformação digital, que assenta na contínua adoção de novas práticas, novas linguagens, novos canais, novas ferramentas e tecnologias que permitem um foco no cliente e uma constante capacidade de adaptação e resposta às novas necessidades e exigências do mercado.

Em 2019, fruto deste renovado posicionamento, a Moneris avançou com um processo de rebranding e reforçou a sua presença nas redes sociais LinkedIn e Facebook, com uma pegada digital assente na partilha de conhecimento e valor acrescentado

Foi também lançada uma nova Intranet, uma ferramenta corporativa interna onde é partilhado com transparência tudo o que acontece na Moneris.

Foi ainda um ano de aposta na qualidade e integridade da informação, assim como de consolidação da automatização de vários processos administrativos e burocráticos, que permitem libertar recursos para um acompanhamento mais focado no cliente.

Neste final de ano, a Moneris apresenta ao mercado o seu novo website – – com uma imagem mais leve e simples, mais moderna e dinâmica, que transporta a visão abrangente, global e inovadora desta organização.

No novo espaço digital da Moneris, são disponibilizados mais e melhores conteúdos e a presença online é consolidada com a possibilidade de integração direta dos conteúdos nas redes sociais.

A Moneris está no caminho da inovação, da modernização, da digitalização, da transformação digital e promete ter novidades muito em breve.

Siga a Moneris:

Hotel brand Inspira to develop projects in Alfama and Santos

Investoc, the ‘family office’ company that owns the Inspira hotel brand is to develop two hotels in the historic Lisbon neighbourhoods of Alfama and Santos.

Filipe Osório de Castro, CEO of Investoc, told online tourism news agency ‘Publituris’ that the company purchased two hotel assets being developed in 2018.

One is located in Avenida Dom Carlos I in Santos which will become a 65-room three-star hotel. Still in the planning permission phase, the €14 million project aims to be different from competitors in the market.

Opening at the end of 2020, the hotel will be positioned in the market as a ‘lifestyle hotel’ aimed at young people.

The other hotel will be located in the historic centre of Lisbon’s Alfama district, in front of the Sé Cathedral and the church of St. Anthony of Alfama.

“We closed the deal in the last quarter and involves a building in Alfama which will become a 50-room five-star hotel. Still on the drawing board phase, the project has a view over the Tagus River and the city as well as “fantastic exposure to the sun,” says Osório de Castro.

The expected investment is €18.5 million with opening expected for 2021.

Ombria Resort wins ‘Best Sustainable Residential Project in Portugal’

The Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort has picked up the ‘Best Sustainable Residential Project in Portugal’ award at the European Property Awards.

The award for a new category ‘Sustainable Residential Development’ was handed out during an award ceremony which took place in London on the 24 October.

The Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort is a 65 apartment development with one and two bedrooms which is managed by Viceroy Hotels & Resorts and forms part of the resort in Loulé, Algarve and which is anchored by a 5-star hotel, the Viceroy at Ombria Resort.

Ranging between 70m2-173m2 of GIA, the apartments are totally furnished with fixtures, furniture and fittings of the same quality in the hotel.

The owners will have access to the hotel premises and services, including the use of concierge and property management and rental while the owner is not using the apartment.

The resort is located in the heart of a 150 hectare estate in the interior of the Algarve.

The European Property Awards are recognised globally as the biggest and most prestigious awards in the real estate sector. The ‘Sustainable Residential Development’ category presented for the first time this year reflects the importance of sustainability in the real estate sector, evaluating projects according to economic, environmental and social responsibility. The Ombria Resort won hands down with excellent practises in all three areas.
Julio Delgado, CEO of Ombria Resort says, “We are really pleased to have won this prestigious award and for leading the way in sustainable residential developments. Over the past decade we’ve seen a change in what potential buyers want. They are much more focused on sustainability and a respect for nature which is at the heart of what we do and it really is an honour to get this award which recognises our efforts.”


Talent shortage and Coopetition

On Wednesday, 24th October, another lively ‘think tank’ lunch took place at the Oporto Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club in Porto. Guests from a diverse range of businesses, talent and professions were invited to generate a friendly but meaningful exchange of opinions on the topic of ‘Talent Shortage and Coopetition‘.

Each person had an opportunity to introduce both themselves and their respective professional interest before tucking into the delicious lunch. Business cards were eagerly exchanged and networking exchanges both before and after lunch opened up new possibilities for everyone. Inês Castelo Branco then opened the ensuing discussion with her perspectives on the main topic, and there followed a fascinating debate which led all present not only to contribute their own thoughts, but also to appreciate different points of view, and rethink established ideas.

The success of these meetings lies in part to the variety and mix of invited guests, thus ensuring such a stimulating and animated debate, and a deeper mutual appreciation of the challenges involved in Portugal for entrepreneurs at every level and in all sectors. The lunch was both rewarding and inspiring and much appreciated by all attending.

Hotelaria Vs Alojamento Local

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Local accommodation — can hotels compete?

According to estimates local accommodation such as AirB&B, guest houses and hostels in Lisbon now account for more than 50% of all tourist bookings in the capital.

In fact houses set aside for local tourist accommodation in the borough of Lisbon which has around 500,000 inhabitants has the capacity to accommodate 102,000 visitors.

The statistics come from Lisbon City Council which also remarks that in March 2019 there were 18,000 local accommodation establishments, a growth of 80% on 2018, a growth trend that has increased on previous years.

But how is this competition affecting the traditional hotel sector in the city and is the mushrooming phenomena of guest houses creating unfair competition or can the two co-exist happily?

This was the question on the table at a debate last week entitled “Hotels v Guest Houses and areas of contention: competitive rivals or complementary alternatives” co-organised by the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC), the French, Belgian-Luxembourg and German chambers of commerce with panel with Ricardo Amantes (Commercial & Investments Director of Coporgest/Lisbon Best Apartments) Miguel Garcia ( Director of the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade) and moderated by Vítor Norinha, journalist (Megafin).

The first issue raised was if there was a certain tourism phobia in Lisbon with the spectre of the city becoming a tourist Disneyland like Barcelona, Berlin or Venice.
Ricardo Amantes said that while there wasn’t evidence of a phobia towards tourists in Lisbon, tourist numbers had grown exponentially over the past four years and Miguel Garcia pointed to the need for better public transport infrastructure and services to cater for the growing numbers.

“If Lisbon and Porto are not better prepared for this demand and given that we don’t have a second airport up and running yet, the city will need more infrastructure, services and better quality ones.”

“Today we see local accommodation not so much as a competitor but complementary to existing offer and vital for the development of cities like Lisbon and Porto,” Amantes added.

In fact, the Portuguese are well known for being hospitable and having the art of welcoming visitors and being good hosts, a phenomena seen up and down the country.
“I think we are one of the few countries in the world who know how to welcome visitors and make an effort to do so in English. We have room to grow and develop but must do so in a sustainable way” he said.

Crunching the numbers Vítor Norinha said in Lisbon there were 18,000 local accommodation premises but 15% offered a poor service and many of these in area of contention such as the central Lisbon historic neighbourhoods. Local accommodation — and these numbers have been disputed — represent 50% of all tourist accommodation in Lisbon and Porto, others sources say 33% while around 63% of beds in Lisbon are for local accommodation and 37% for hotels. In 2018 there were 56,000 beds in hotels and apart-hotels while in the first half of 2019 there were 25-5 million visitors which means the same amount of tourists as in 2018.

Some 92% of the license holders of local accommodation own between one and three premises which means it is a relatively small business with area of contention representing 20% and relative areas of contention (15%).

Regulations scare of investors

Ricardo Amantes said he was “very critical” of regulations aimed at controlling the number and nature of local accommodation that has been approved but currently awaiting publication and are designed to protect the lifestyle of local residents in historic neighbourhoods and maintain the traditional and authentic character of them.
“It seems to me that the real reason for introducing these regulations is not so much to ‘put the house in order’ but to try and resolve the problem of a lack of affordable housing in Lisbon since reading the memoranda to do with the regulations the aim is to ‘preserve the social reality of the neighbourhoods and residents and safeguard the fundamental rights to housing against the growth of local accommodation and the pressure this demand puts on rising property and rental prices.

“For me there does not exist a direct relationship between local accommodation and a lack of housing in these historic neighbourhoods. If it wasn’t for local accommodation, there would not be a number of buildings that have been done up and local trade and business that has sprung up and we would have continued to witness what we had experienced before 2014 where a large number of these neighbourhoods were run down with buildings that were abandoned or in ruins, a population that was very elderly while local accommodation had already existed anyway.”

Miguel Garcia said he had a “different view” of local accommodation which was that it was complementary. “I agree that it has to be controlled and regulated to preserve local traditions and authenticity. To preserve our history and the elderly with their washing lines hanging from windows really is part of our culture and history.”

“If you are a tourist and see hoards of tourists in the traditional neighbourhoods you completely lose the effect of the authenticity of these “bairros” and local accommodation must result in creating a genuine experience in the location, avoiding situations that have happened in Greece and Italy” he said adding that Lisbon rank the risk of approaching a Disneyland situation.

It was also pointed out that investors had bought up property to turn into hotels or guest houses and were now, because of the regulations, left with either potential white elephants on their hands or were facing restrictions making it difficult to have a good return on their investments. “These government rules have been passed regardless of the current investments underway” he said adding that so far the Government had not given a positive reply to concerns over investments already earmarked in Lisbon.

“From the point of view of overseas investors who have and want to invest in Portugal it sends out a bad sign that investors cannot trust the government because it chops and changes the rules,” he said.

Hotels v Local Accommodation

So, with local accommodation already overtaking Lisbon’s hotels on mid-price average stays (city-breaks), can the hotel sector compete and coexist with the more affordable competition that is attracting so many younger people to stay in the city?
It largely depends on the type of trade you are looking at. According to the Lisbon Tivoli boss, if I’m looking at the Tivoli Avenida (five-star) we perhaps have competition from the first stay tourists make in the city. What I call curiosity visitors,” he said.
“But for people that want services, history, brand and class then the expectation is completely different for a certain type of traveller that wouldn’t be expecting the same in local accommodation,” he added.

“But it we look at our three and four-star hotels, then I would agree that we have a greater competition.”
The answer could be to become better and more competitive at three and four-star level, strengthen its core business which in hotels means service whole local accommodation has a lot of growth to do in these areas.

Some bed and breakfast guest houses that are members of city hosting platforms can so offer some services but the kind of tourists that book into local accommodation are not the same kind of visitors who want to stay in hotels.

“I think there is room for both, but we at Tivoli in terms of mid-price strategy believe that local accommodation could become a competitor since value-for-money is very important and more so than the classification of three or four star classifications,” said Miguel Garcia.
“I think one way or another local accommodation will need become more self-demanding to become competitive and many in the hotel sector so see this as a big threat that we have to battle against, but today I see it has a complement to existing offer,” he said.
The overall conclusion was that there was a percentage of local accommodation providers offering bad or limited services and or conditions currently in the market while it was likely that within the sector itself there would be fierce and growing competition reflected by some local accommodation providers upping their game in terms of conditions and services offered, putting them effectively on a par with small residential hotels.

By Essential Business

United Lisbon International School

Admissions Suite ready to receive registrations for September 2020 start

As a new international school in close proximity to the Park of Nations, the United Lisbon International School will open its doors to the first students in September 2020. United Lisbon will be a modern and innovative school, with its curriculum based on US-standards and leading to the internationally acknowledged International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, in combination with the “Advanced Placement” (AP) program, administered by the American College Board.

In September 2020, United Lisbon International School will open its doors to the first select group of 150 students from Early Childhood (3 years) to Grade 9 (14 years). A year ahead of the opening, the admissions process has now been officially launched. The newly opened admissions office – to welcome prospective families for individual meetings – is built to be a model space for the educational philosophy of United Lisbon as a transparent, agile and collaborative space.

After more than a year of planning, the renovation of the school campus, at Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa, about a 10-minute drive from central Lisbon, is underway and will be completed in summer 2020. The first phase of construction focuses on the main building, with spacious classrooms, open-space learning hubs, state-of-the-art science labs, a maker space area and art studios. Around the building, the school’s outdoor sports facilities and playgrounds are also to be completed for the opening in 2020.

Chitra and Roman Stern, founders of the Martinhal Group and investors in the United Lisbon International School say: “We are excited to be starting the admissions process for the first intake now. The team has worked hard in developing the school concept and preparing the rehabilitation of the existing university site into a modern school campus. A significant part of the 200 families enquiring to-date has been from those wishing to relocate to Lisbon already for some time but were not able due to the lack of spaces in international schools for their children.”

United Lisbon school will be operated by International Schools Services (ISS), based in Princeton, USA. In over 60 years of history, ISS has successfully, supported launched and built more than 110 schools around the globe and is at the forefront of international school education. Already a year in advance of the opening, the school has successfully taken the first steps to accredit and authorize its educational programs at the national and international level:

  • The Portuguese Ministry of Education has issued the initial license for the school;
  • The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) has awarded Candidate School Status to United Lisbon for the authorization of the IB Diploma Program;
  • The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), one of the main US standard setters, has confirmed the eligibility for accreditation of the school after its opening.

“United Lisbon will offer modern education inspired by and fit for the 21st century and beyond, building on globally established educational standards such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program and Advanced Placement (AP). To enable students to grow through learning experiences that matter in the world into which our students will graduate, we create a forward-looking ecosystem for active, student-driven learning: applying new standards in pedagogy; creating open, agile and collaborative spaces; and a seamlessly integrating modern technologies,” says Dr. Nils Remmel, Founding Head of School.

Dr. Paul Johnson, ISS Senior Leadership Executive states: “Working to launch the United Lisbon International School has been an invigorating and inspiring experience. The team in Lisbon possesses the vision and drive to make United Lisbon an exciting school preparing students to face challenges of a rapidly changing world. Combined with the professional resources available through ISS, the school is positioned to be a leader in international education. It is exciting to be part of such a forward-thinking group of people.”

With its vision “to empower and inspire the young generation for a sustainable world”, United Lisbon will set itself apart through rigorous academic programs, a strong focus on the skills and values the next generation will need to be successful in tomorrow’s world, as well as supporting longer-term sustainabl Lisbon, puts it in a unique position to enrich student learning through experiences beyond the classroom building on partnerships and collaborations with local institutions and corporations.

All details on the admissions process are published at the school’s website:


Contact for inquiries:
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +351 218 370 973
Address: Admissions Office,
Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa nº 19B,
1800-255 Lisboa


About Martinhal Resorts  

Martinhal Resorts are four hotels in Portugal located in the most prestigious and privileged locations – Sagres and Quinta do Lago in the Algarve, Cascais and Chiado in Lisbon. The brand is completely focused on the luxury market for families. The developers, Chitra and Roman Stern, are working on their fifth property, Martinhal Residences (, in the Park of Nations in Lisbon.

 About International Schools Services (ISS)

International Schools Services (ISS) works with more than 500 international schools and thousands of educators each year, creating the largest global footprint in international education support. Since its inception in 1955, ISS has launched and managed more than 110 international schools; placed approximately 50,000 educators; and developed ground-breaking learning programs, such as the World Language Initiative and Level 5 Creativity & Innovation Hubs. With its headquarters in Princeton, USA, ISS currently owns or operates nearly 20 international schools around the world and promotes innovation and best practices for global education through its core services that include founding and managing student-centred, future-oriented schools. ISS staff has extensive experience in all aspects of international education, with most senior leaders having served as Heads of Schools across a variety of continents.