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Algarve hotels first to receive tourism signs

By CHRIS GRAEME

[email protected]

Algarve hotels were the first nationwide to sport new Portuguese Tourism Board classification signs.

The Hotel Real Marina in Olhão and Hotel Memmo Baleeira in Sagres both put up the new signs on Monday, December 6.

The Algarve was chosen as the first national region to have the new signs. The aim of the new classifications is to ensure “an additional guarantee of quality” to tourists staying in hotels, apart-hotels and bed-and-breakfast accommodation.

It has been introduced following the new Tourism Resorts Judicial Regime (Regime Jurídico dos Empreendimentos Turísticos), which was approved by the Government in 2008.

The classifications are valid for four years with a specific number issued by Turismo de Portugal which is added to a National Tourism Register.

The hotels were awarded their new classifications by the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism, Bernardo Trindade, on Monday, in the presence of the President of the Algarve Tourism Board, Nuno Aires.

All tourist establishments have until December 31, 2010 to apply for their classification which can be done on Turismo de Portugal’s website.

Up until now, over 900 requests for re-classification have been delivered to Turismo de Portugal – the vast majority over the past two months.

The Government says that the new, free, online classifications, reduced from 21 to 12, aim to make the process less complicated and bureaucratic.

From this database at www.turismodeportugal.pt, it will be possible to get detailed and universal information of tourism facilities in Portugal, which can be shared by all public and private tourism agents and entities and will include the 130 new four and five-star hotels which have sprung up in Portugal since 2005.

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