Algarve winter wonderland
Algarve winter wonderland

Algarve winter wonderland

New campaign promotes Algarve as “appealing choice” for those who want to save on energy bills this winter

The Algarve Tourism Association (ATA) has launched a new promotional campaign designed to woo tourists to the region during the “low season”.

Named ‘Algarve: a different kind of energy’, the campaign promotes the region as an “appealing choice for those who want to escape harsh winter weather” while saving on energy bills.

Tourists are encouraged to ‘use their energy in nature’ by enjoying the range of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in the Algarve’s mild winter weather.

“Get out and about, exploring untouched nature this winter and over 250 species that call the Algarve home. From salt evaporation ponds to rocky outcrops, long stretches of sandy beaches, and steep hills with hidden viewpoints, the diversity of nature in the Algarve is sure to amaze all who explore it,” states the campaign.

The initiative was launched alongside Algarve business association NERA with the goal of “responding to the current energy crisis that is being felt all over Europe, particularly in central and northern countries, where winter is tougher and where there is a larger dependency on energy for heating.”

“Having identified a key opportunity to promote the region, the campaign aims to position the Algarve as a top destination for those looking to escape the cold and high energy bills,” ATA says in a press release.

The digital campaign is being promoted mainly through a video which showcases “tourism products such as Nature, Sports and Nautical Sports”, as well as golf, hiking, birdwatching, cycling, and boat trips.

It is aimed at international markets such as the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Spain and at travellers who can work remotely or stay in the Algarve for medium- or long-duration trips.

“The (Algarve’s) sun and year-round mild climate and the diversity of outdoor activities are strong arguments to attract those who want to focus on their well-being and comfort while enjoying a relaxing winter,” said ATA president João Fernandes.

“Here, we not only welcome our visitors with a warm and welcoming hug but also provide them with interesting ways to use their energy,” he added.

Fernandes also highlighted that visiting the Algarve outside of the busy summer season allows tourists to discover the region “at a different pace”.

“This calmer season is ideal for tourists who want to experience the authenticity of the destination by trying everything that makes the Algarve unique,” he said.

Meanwhile, NERA boss Vítor Neto stated that this campaign is a great opportunity for local businesses.

“The arrival of travellers during this time of year is certainly beneficial for businesses in the region, in the sense that it breathes new life into our economy during a time that is usually quieter,” he said.

Making the Algarve “more sustainable”

Another campaign, this time focusing on making the region more sustainable and aimed at tourism companies, has also been launched by the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA).

It encourages tourism companies to implement measures which will “make a difference in terms of reducing their carbon footprint and their energy consumption”.

Switching to LEDs, planting native species in gardens, creating seasonal menus with local products, investing in water-saving technology and separating waste are among the close to 50 practical tips for professionals working in the accommodation, golf, restaurant and tourist leisure sectors.

These eco-friendly tips are being promoted online, in videos and in specialised publications.

João Fernandes says the campaign aims to show tourism professionals that they will also be strengthening their own businesses by protecting the environment.

“In fact, demand from environmentally conscious tourists is increasing. These visitors will only purchase products or services from (environmentally) responsible companies,” he said.

This is the second campaign promoted by RTA as part of the AwK (Adaptation with Knowledge, Climate Change) project.

The first, entitled ‘Nature doesn’t take a break’, was aimed at holidaymakers and encouraged them to be mindful of the environment during their stay, thus helping to protect what makes the Algarve such a special destination.

Digital transition programme to award €7,000 to tourism companies

A new international programme which aims to help small- and medium-sized tourism businesses on their path to digital transition has been launched and is open for companies to apply until January 8.

Entitled ‘Tourism 4.0’, the programme will run for nine months and will provide “coaching, mentoring and guidance to develop digital skills through training, webinars and other learning activities with specialists,” according to a statement released by Portugal’s Tourism Innovation Centre (NEST).

At the end of the programme, participating companies will receive €7,000 each.

The programme is open to hotels and accommodation units, travel agencies, tour operators, booking services and other similar businesses in Portugal, Italy, Spain, Malta and Croatia.

“Participants will have access to mentors with specialised knowledge in the focus area of the initiative, who will work with each SME in order to provide tailor-made coaching and training to elevate team capabilities and suggest projects to achieve more success.”

Among the mentors will be employees from Microsoft, Google, Nova SBE, Host, Startup Portugal, RemoteWork, Wamos Portugal, and Turismo de Portugal.

There will be 15 webinars and six workshops as well as online learning sessions tackling a wide range of issues, from “digital sustainability” to the “challenges and opportunities of digital transformation in the tourism industry”.

“NEST is proud to be a part of this consortium, representing Portugal as a project partner and contributing to improve the knowledge of companies in key areas, such as artificial intelligence and data and analysis,” said NEST executive director Roberto Antunes.

Also planned is a conference in Portugal at the end of the programme which will act as a networking event for all participants as well as a showcase of the “best projects and solutions” from the participating SMEs.

By Michael Bruxo
michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com