Excellence awards for tourism companies

Nearly 140 tourism companies in Portugal received an excellence award last year for notable business performance in 2011, announced Turismo de Portugal.

Out of a total of 1,239 companies, 138 companies in various sectors were awarded the PME Excelência do Turismo 2012 prize – 52 restaurants, 49 tourism resorts, 23 travel agencies, 11 hire car companies and three entertainment establishments.

Unsurprisingly, most companies are located in the Algarve region (88), followed by Lisbon (31) and Porto (16), amounting to 63% of the total.

The awarded companies generated in 2011 direct employment for more than 4,400 people and a trade volume exceeding €360 million.

The PME Excelência awards aim to recognise notable business performance and were created within the FINCRESCER programme, which assists companies with financing options and growth strategies.

FINCRESCER has been developed by IAPMEI, the Portuguese institute of support to small and medium-sized enterprises.

To check the complete list of awarded companies, go to: www.turismodeportugal.pt

Meanwhile, Turismo de Portugal has announced that 50 youngsters holding a university degree have been granted an internship in “some of the most prestigious” tourism companies abroad to gain valuable experience. Companies involved in the programme include Crowne Plaza, Bulgari, Sands China and Portuguese multinationals Pestana, Vila Galé and TAP.

This is part of the Programa Inov Contacto and follows agreements with various groups and tourism boards in countries such as the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the US, Brazil and China.