The Algarve tourism board (RTA) will be promoting the region’s industrial tourism sector and showcasing everything else it has to offer apart from its famous beaches at the 2022 BTL tourism fair, due to take place in Lisbon between March 16 and 20.
The fair, said to be the largest of its kind in Portugal, is returning after being cancelled two years straight due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, the Algarve will be represented at the FIL fairground with a “more technological stand”, which will emphasise the region’s industrial tourism sector.
While not the most talked about genre of tourism in the Algarve, RTA highlights Loulé’s rock salt mine, the production and transformation of cork in São Brás de Alportel, production of canned goods in Lagoa or olive tourism in Olhão as some of the region’s main industrial attractions.
The goal is to establish the region as a “multiproduct destination” that offers more than just the nearly year-round sunshine and pristine beaches that the Algarve is known all across the globe for.
The Algarve stand at BTL will also feature some technological novelties, such as an interactive table detailing what each borough has to offer as a tourism destination, as well as a device with “holographic imagery which makes the stand more inviting”.
There will also be wine and food tastings, art exhibitions and showcases of craftsmanship taking place at the Algarve stand.
Says RTA, “this year has already shown clear signs of recovery” for the sector which was amongst the most affected by the pandemic.
“There are good booking numbers for the coming months, very similar to those of 2019, the best tourism year ever,” it adds.
BTL (Bolsa de Turismo de Lisboa) is organised by the AIP Foundation and will bring together 60 international destinations in 2022, which will be pitching themselves to a crowd that normally tops 70,000 visitors – 35,000 of whom are tourism professionals.
Organisers say that the Russia-Ukraine war has not led to any cancellations so far, and as Ukraine and Russia were not normally among the destinations represented at the fair, there was no need for a change of plans.
This year’s guest destination will be the Dominican Republic.