As the only member that lives (permanently) and works in Porto, I might have a different perspective and insight on how things work, in relation to my colleagues that post in this website. I work in a hotel located in one of the most popular areas for tourists and the face of many postcards, Ribeira.
This is a short post just to briefly describe my experience and what is like to work here. As I said before the hotel where I work is in the area of Ribeira, which is one of the oldest and most typical places in the city. First of all, the hotel is placed in the middle of houses inhabited by locals. It´s interesting to see the way they react and fell about this massive increase of tourists. You can notice their dissatisfaction about having, not only this, but other hotels here because of the noise. They also don’t like that in the past, the owner of this hotel wanted to buy their houses to build more apartments for tourists.
I am really glad that Porto has so many tourists, not only because it’s good for my job, but also because it’s wonderful that people from other countries have an interest in visiting us. On the other side, it is kind of sad that you can barely hear our own language here. Even the tourists themselves, from time to time, mention this. They say that they come to Ribeira to get to know our culture and meet the locals, but are disappointed that they can’t find neither. Nowadays this place is basically bars, hotels and other tourists.
I have to reiterate, I really love tourists! But again it´s sad to see the great impact they’re having in this area. People from here are getting “expelled” from their own houses, because some businessmen can gain something from it. People, that have been living here for a long time, many of them even grew up here. Without them, Ribeira will certainly loose much of its charm.
I also wonder what is going to happen when all of this “tourism boom” ends? Is Ribeira going to be an unoccupied place? This is my concern about Ribeira.
Post by Tainá Souza