Five years on: tourism boss says Algarve is success story

It has been five years since Desidério Silva took charge of the entity responsible for the sector that raises the most revenue and creates the most jobs in the Algarve – tourism.

In a self-assessment of his work, Silva said in a press statement that his biggest achievement as president of the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA) has been making the Algarve more sustainable as a year-round destination by “expanding and diversifying” the region’s tourism products and services.

Establishing the Algarve as the “most important tourism region” in Portugal was one of his main goals when he accepted the job in 2012.

It was a goal that he says has helped the region achieve impressive results – like the 19 million ‘sleepovers’ that the Algarve’s hotel industry is expecting to reach by the end of the year, five million more than when he took office.

As Desidério Silva points out, the Algarve now offers much more than just the “sun and beaches”. The region is also an attractive destination for cyclists, nature-lovers and birdwatchers.

“We have promoted our gastronomy and wines, health tourism, and cultural and sports events, both abroad and to the domestic market, and are proud to boast several national and international prizes,” he added.

The tourism boss, and former mayor of Albufeira, highlighted the awards for Europe’s Best Beach Destination, the World’s Best Golf Destination and Portugal’s Best Tourism Region, which have helped “strengthen” the image of the Algarve.

“But without everyone’s effort and energy, it would have been impossible to get where we are now and implement the projects we have ahead of us,” he said.

“There is still a lot to be done for the Algarve, the challenges are huge, but together we will continue to make the Algarve the best tourism region in Portugal,” he concluded, thanking the staff and board of RTA, the Algarve tourism association (ATA) and their public and private partners.

By MICHAEL BRUXO [email protected]