Algarve tourism board rewards travel agencies

VARIOUS TRAVEL agencies from the districts of Braga, Porto, Aveiro and Coimbra will be rewarded this month by the Região de Turismo do Algarve (RTA), the region’s tourism board. It is the first time that RTA will award national travel agents for sales success relating to the Portuguese market for the Algarve region.

In the first quarter of 2005, people living in Portugal travelled more than in the same period last year. Around 3.4 million trips were made, translating into an increase of 23.4 per cent. The main motives for the trips were leisure, recreation and holidays.

According to figures just released by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE), Portugal’s statistics institute, the region most in demand for this segment was the Algarve, with 24.1 per cent of the total beds registered.

The excellent sales figures for the Algarve were due to the success of travel agencies like Abreu, Best Travel, Gheisa Viagens, SolNorte and Star Viagens, whose staff, as a thank you from RTA, will now receive a holiday (incentive trip) in the Algarve.

With the aim of increasing business for the region and raising awareness about new hotels and products in the Algarve, such as spas and activity holidays, the first incentive trip is due to take place this month and will include visits and activities spread over four days.

The initiative is supported by various companies including Douro Azul, Caminhos-de-Ferro de Portugal, The Lake Resort, Vila Sol Resort & Hotel Spa, Fábrica do Inglês, Tivoli Arade, Casino de Vilamoura, Grande Real Santa Eulália Hotel & Spa, CS Hotéis, Vila Galé Albacora, Vila Monte Resort Gourmet & Spa, Complexo Termal das Caldas de Monchique, Lusotur Golfes, Sumos Epaminondas, Bracevasa, Servirail and Galeria Corte Real.