An internationally appealing events programme is urgently needed for the region as an alternative to Allgarve, a local MP told the Secretary of State for Tourism in a parliamentary session recently.
Mendes Bota of the Algarve PSD political party representation said the region should not go from having Allgarve to “Nadagarve” (nada meaning ‘nothing’) considering the importance of tourism for the economy, and how an entertainment programme should be conceived to attract international markets.
The politician was adamant that external promotion of the Algarve was more pressing than keeping the nationals “entertained” and slammed the Allgarve programme as having “no impact” abroad, being too focused on the local populations and too concentrated in the summer months.
He said: “Allgarve was a complete waste of money, €14 million from Turismo de Portugal alone and, quite certainly, around €20 million from the Algarve Tourism Board (ERTA), Câmaras and other local entities. In the end, there were no significant gains from the 300 events that took place.”
Cecília Meireles, Secretary of State for Tourism, assured the Algarve politician that she would support an entertainment programme for the region based on his principles and confirmed that the Portugal Masters and Rally de Portugal would be part of it.
The MP asked why no support from the tourism entities was ever shown for a sports event of “great international importance such as the Tour of the Algarve”, which is televised both in Portugal and in Europe.
“We obtained no answer but the message has been passed,” said Mendes Bota.
Click here to follow the Algarve Resident on facebook