Algarve receives tourism awards

By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]

Three national tourism awards, Prémios Turismo de Portugal, have been received by the Algarve at this year’s ceremony, which took place at the Lisbon tourism fair (BTL) on January 13.

Estoi’s newly refurbished guesthouse, Pousada do Palácio de Estoi, won the ‘special tourism prize’.

The guesthouse, which cost around 15 million euros to refurbish, aims to preserve the regional heritage with its romantic and eclectic architecture.

The award for ‘new private project’ went to the Hotel Tivoli Victoria, a Vilamoura-based five-star luxury hotel, which opened last year and is situated on the Oceânico Victoria golf course where the annual Portugal Masters is held.

Portimão museum was honoured in the category of ‘new public project’, but the actual award went to the Portas do Mar development from Ponta Delgada, Azores.

In a statement, Portimão Câmara said that the honorary mention of the former fish canning factory, inaugurated as a municipal museum in May 2008 following a 10 million euro refurbishment, highlighted its “worth to preserve the council’s heritage and was a contribution to the city’s cultural diversity”.

The implementation of an environmental management system and EcoResort, promoted by Robinson Hotels Portugal in Vila Real de Santo António in the eastern Algarve, won the award in the ‘environmental sustainability’ category.

As well as the three awards given to tourism facilities in the Algarve, a further five were presented at the ceremony which was attended by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Bernardo Trindade.

Five-star Viseu-based Hotel de Charme Casa da Ínsua won the award in the category of ‘refurbishment of a private project’, while Rota do Românico do Vale do Sousa, in Lousada, northern Portugal, received the accolade in the category of ‘refurbishment of a public project’.

Portuguese airline TAP’s monthly magazine entitled UP – Ouse Sonhar Mais Alto (dare to dream higher) won in the ‘services’ category, while the Rip Curl Pro Search 2009 event won in the ‘events’ category.

This year’s jury, which comprised of developer André Jordan, José Coelho, President of the Portuguese Tourism Confederation, António Metelo, journalist, and Luís Patrão, President of Portugal’s Tourism Board, chose the winners from each category out of a total  of 192 candidates, 19 of which were from the Algarve.

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