10 Years of History
The Outdoor, Leisure and Cultural Section of APECATE inherits and continues the work developed on PACTA over its 10 years of existence. At the date of the merger its members automatically moved to the new Association, with the status of founding members. All its patrimony - and ongoing work, partnerships and institutional representation - has been progressively integrated into Apecate.
The PACTA - Portuguese Business Association of Cultural Animation and Nature Tourism and Adventure, formed by public deed on December 15, 1997, was born on the meeting of minds of several outdoor companies that since 1995 join forces to solve problems that were affecting them. At that time, the situation was quite different from today: the outdoor, leisure and cultural tourism was a pioneer activity sector, yet with little expression, without any legal framework and, at best, looked like a possible poor relative in the tourism sector.
There were defined three priority areas of work that even today, remain update:
1. Legal context: the systematic dialogue with the Government Authority that holds the Tourism Activity, for the recognition of this emerging sector of tourism and to the conquest of all the conditions considered essential to their free development.
2. Training: the problem´s resolution of the specific training´s lack, particularly, in relation to professionals working in the area of outdoor activities.
3. Promotion: the struggle for the public and joint affirmation of this new business sector.
Over these 10 years of history, there were important the following PACTA’s milestones of work:
- The persistent activity with the Government and several official entities of local and regional levels in order to recognize the Outdoor, Leisure and Cultural’s Sector and its independent legal context, in which process was a speaker in the Central Administration;
- The preparation of proposals to amend the legislation in force for the Outdoor companies, presented systematically to all holders of the Tourism folder since the publication of Decree-Law No 204/2000 of the 1st September, and from 2005, under the Working Group, created for this purpose by the Secretary of State for Tourism;
- the raising awareness of the Tourism , Environment and Sport holders for the importance of the creation of a new model´s training for actives, targeted for technicians in the tourism sector that operate under the outdoor activities;
- The presentation of reviews and proposals to the Secretary of State for Environment, particularly about the rules imposed on Outdoor companies that operate in Protected Areas;
- The signing of the insurance agreement in 2003 with Liberty Seguros, which allowed to offer to all members very favorable terms in compulsory insurance’s contracts for outdoor companies;
- The achievement, in 2005, of the 1st National Meeting of outdoor companies, fairly judged as an important moment of affirmation of the sector;
- The participation, due to an invitation of INE, in the work of recasting of the CAE, which resulted in the creation of a specific CAE for the outdoor companies, considered an essential tool for the assessing of the real sector’s economic weight ;
- The participation, as a founding member in ARPT "Tourism of Alentejo, which has led, in addition to the opening of a forum for the sector’s affirmation, to the monitoring of the process for the implementation of new rules at a national level for contracts in the foreign Market´s Promotion;
- The participation, since 2006, in the EQF (European Qualification Framework)´s project for Outdoor Animators, part of the Leonardo da Vinci Program, which has as its primary goal in the definition of common profiles of skills for Outdoors operating in Europe;
- The systematic presence that ensured in all meetings, conferences and seminars related to the theme of outdoor activity, by which it was stated and credible the name of the PACTA and the main problems of the sector were formulated and brought into the public stage.