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Albufeira announces ambitious New Year programme as mayor urges hotels and businesses to “stay open”

Known for hosting one of the most popular end-of-year parties in Portugal, Albufeira has unveiled its five-day agenda for New Year including everything from concerts and firework displays to a medieval fair and quirky parade with circus artists.

But for it all to work out, mayor Carlos Silva e Sousa urges businesses and hotels to stay open so that revellers who decide to travel to Albufeira “do not find it deserted”.

It isn’t enough to “simply put on a good show”, he said while presenting the €100,000 agenda at the Baltum Hotel on Wednesday (October 12).

“Either one chooses to close and live off the summer alone, or to promote year-round tourism and fight seasonality.”

José Santos, head of Albufeira’s promotion agency (APAL), supported Sousa saying that the number of flights at Faro Airport has increased during the low season, meaning there could be more people around this winter.

Algarve tourism boss Desidério Silva agrees.

“We cannot give up,” he said. “We have had an excellent tourism year: we welcomed thousands of people who came here due to security issues in rival destinations, and who are surely going to return.

“Plus, the airport is welcoming new flights, which is why it won’t make sense if tourists arrive in Albufeira and cannot find a place to sleep, eat or have fun.”

New Year entertainment in Albufeira begins on Thursday, December 29 and runs until Monday, January 2.

On New Year’s Eve, the traditional party in the town’s Praça dos Pescadores will feature well-known names, including Áurea and pop group D.A.M.A.

There will also be a party in Oura, where a ‘Star Parade’ including circus artists is promised, while fireworks are planned in five locations.

Added to the usual fun this year comes a medieval fair – to take place in Paderne between December 29 and January 1 – and a Portuguese Solrir comedy festival at Palácio de Congressos do Algarve, running from December 29 to January 2.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com