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The city is the seat of the executive branch of government (the Presidente da Autarquia) and legislature (Câmara Municipal). The judiciary is independent from both branches. Horta's economy, like that of most Azorean islands, was traditionally based on agriculture; however, it has diversified into other areas due to its location within a major Atlantic shipping lane. Tourism now plays a significant role in its economic output with new hotels being constructed to accommodate more visitors.