With Portuguese tourism in dazzling ascendence the government has signed over another 20 monasteries and convents for use in the sector.
Some are less rundown than others, but all are stunning and vast and otherwise going nowhere.
Diário de Notícias has featured the buildings in an impressive slideshow (click here), explaining that the income from these concessions could reach €150 million.
“The recovery of these buildings will be made by private (companies/ individuals)”, explains the paper, saying that once they have been restored, the various sites will open their doors as hotels, restaurants or even museums.
Incorporated in the government’s Revive programme, there are now 30 buildings earmarked for rescue and restoration.
According to DN, “various hoteliers and investors have been waiting for this announcement to position themselves in the programme”.
In the running are “not only national groups which already operate in the sector” – like Pestana and Group Vila Galé – but “investors from other branches of business activity and international investment groups, which are not necessarily hotel groups”.
The list of monuments is available on Turismo de Portugal’s website, says DN, stressing that for now only one – Elvas’ São Paulo Convent – has found a new owner (Vila Galé).
Rules are fairly straightforward, and concessions will stay in place for a period of 30 to 50 years with options to renew, depending on whether or not the State decides to take back control.
Said minister of the economy Manuel Caldeira Cabral, “we are creating wealth by valuing our historic patrimony”.