Sander van Gelder, Chairman of the Vale do Lobo Group of Companies, has received the Gold Medal of Merit from the Portuguese government in recognition of his work at Vale do Lobo and for his outstanding contribution to the development of quality tourism in Portugal. The award was presented by the Minister for the Economy, Carlos Tavares, and the Secretary of State for Tourism, Luis Correia da Silva, at the FIL Congress Centre during the BTL Lisbon Tourism Fair recently.
This prestigious gold award is given to personalities who have made a significant contribution for the development of tourism in Portugal and those who have played a major role in promoting the image of the country abroad in areas such as art, architecture, music, tourism and industry. Nine gold medals were awarded this year to high profile figures including top fado singer, Mariza, painter and sculptor, José de Guimarães and architect, Álvaro Siza Vieira.
On receiving his award, Mr van Gelder said: “It is a great honour for me to receive this Tourism Gold Medal and to find myself among such esteemed company receiving awards here today. For the past 26 years, I have devoted all my energies into developing the Vale do Lobo resort, which I hope has become an asset to the Algarve and to Portugal. It is wonderful to know that these efforts are appreciated and I would like to express my deepest gratitude for this medal.“
At the close of the ceremony, the Minister for the Economy thanked all the award winners for their contribution towards tourism in Portugal. He ended by saying: “As tourism is the main business sector for Portugal, it is essential that we fight for quality in all areas, to attract more and better tourists. Our mission is to make Portugal a different and better country.”