Another round of ‘365 Algarve’ events, the programme created in 2016 to boost the number of cultural events in the region during the so-called low season, will be held between October 2019 and May 2020.
‘365 Algarve’ was only expected to run for three editions, but tourism officials say the success of the initiative has been such that the government is bringing it back, as it “has given tourists and residents a wealthier selection of events to enjoy outside of the busy summer season”.
According to a joint statement released by the offices of the secretaries of state for culture and for tourism, the ‘365 Algarve’ events have already attracted over 300,000 people.
The idea is to capitalise on the programme’s success which “has helped improve the tourist appeal of the destination”. The national tourism authority Turismo de Portugal has already invested €4.5 million in the initiative.
Since 2016 when the first ‘365 Algarve’ was held, the number of overnight stays at Algarve hotels during the low season has increased 23%. Faro Airport has also seen a boost in the number of passengers during the winter. In November and December 2018, the number of passengers had increased 16.4% and 23.3%, respectively, when compared to 2016.
As Secretary of State for Tourism Ana Mendes Godinho puts it, “365 Algarve has been an important tool to promote the Algarve as a destination that is ‘alive’ all year round”.
“The success of this programme has created unique, authentic and surprising cultural experiences for national and foreign residents as well as tourists,” said the secretary of state for tourism, adding that authorities have been hard at work to attract more winter routes for Faro Airport.
Ângela Ferreira, Secretary of State for Culture, said the programme has shown that “it is possible to counteract seasonality”. She also highlighted the number of “sold out events” and the programme’s “increasing notoriety”.
She added that the current programme – with over 400 events that include more than 100 concerts and around 50 plays – attracted 40,000 people between October and December alone.
Photo: Orquestra Fogo-Fogo performed in December 2018
Photo by: RUI VIEIRA