By: NATASHA SMITH
A COASTAL area of Spain, known unofficially as the Spanish ‘Algarve’, has been accused of false advertising and riding on the coattails of the well established Algarve name as a quality destination.
The Algarve tourism board (RTA) has presented a formal complaint to the public prosecutor about alleged abuse of the Algarve name.
The Resident reported that this alleged abuse of the Algarve name first bubbled to the surface when Algarve MP, Mendes Bota, released a statement in opposition to the advertising campaign of a specific resort in Ayamonte (See The Resident August 31).
The Tasa Costa Esuri Resort launched a marketing campaign at potential property buyers in Europe, who, Bota believed, recognised the Algarve as a high quality destination and the resort was using the name to encourage people to buy property in an area which is not as internationally renowned.
The development’s brochure, written in Spanish and English, reads “Apartments in el Algarve (Ayamonte, Spain)”. Bota said: “What is not acceptable is that the name of the Algarve is being used as false advertising, to sell property in resorts in Spain”.
He was also concerned that one of the ploys of the marketing campaign was to attempt to deceive valuable investors in the Algarve and encourage them to move across the border. Bota appealed to the government to take swift action and stop this company from using the “good name” of the Algarve to sell their properties.
Since August, the RTA has presented an official complaint to the public prosecutor for alleged abuse of the Algarve name in Spain and in particular the Costa da Luz in Ayamonte, Spain.
The Resident contacted the Algarve Tourism Board and a spokesperson said: “We have worked hard to build the name of the Algarve” and that they had no intention of letting it be soiled.
The official complaint is supported by four statements from key figures in the Algarve. Mendes Bota, Elidérico Viegas, the president of the hotels and resorts association (AHETA), the eastern Algarve association (ASA) president, António Almeida Pires and António Silva from the Business Development Agency (AICEP).
RTA President, António Pina, said that he would prefer to let the Portuguese government deal with this situation rather than presenting a case to the European Court as they chose to “follow the routes that are considered to be safer”.
ASA President António Almeida Pires said: “action needs to be taken to safeguard the region” and AHETA President Elidérico Viegas said this “is not a new problem” and has been going on for too long.
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