Government grants six million to promote Algarve tourism .jpg

Government grants six million to promote Algarve tourism

THE ALGARVE is to receive from the Instituto de Turismo de Portugal (ITP) six million euros, from a national budget of 30.5 million euros, to promote tourism in the region.

The amount, which was awarded according to a new tourism promotion model developed by ITP, under the guidance of the Ministry for the Economy, will be directed to the Associação de Turismo do Algarve (ATA) and Região de Turismo do Algarve (RTA).

At national level, there is an increase of 12.7 per cent in the amount for tourism promotion thanks to growth in private funding and funds from the European Community project known as Programa de Intervenções para a Qualificação do Turismo (PIQTUR), an action programme for the upgrade of tourism activities. In total, according to Frederico Costa from the ITP’s strategic council for tourism promotion, close to 38 million euros will be available for promotion in 2006.

This year, the ATA will have a total budget of 8.2 million euros to spend on external promotion, 4.1 million of which will be injected by the ITP, one million by the RTA and the rest by private entities and via PIQTUR. Meanwhile, RTA will spend 7.8 million on internal investment for promotion and entertainment.

The ITP’s new model for promotion has brought private entities to the table, so that, for the first time, “public and private sectors are talking to each other in order to meet common objectives”, explained Frederico Costa.

The strategic guidelines drawn up for the 2004/2006 period are based on three main criteria: to increase the number of tourists, to achieve a growth in sales volume and to increase the number of guests staying in hotels. To achieve these aims, the Promotion Plan for Brand Portugal will be followed, along with regional plans, one of which is for the Algarve.

The main school of thought appears to be that it is better to concentrate on reinforcing promotional activities in main markets rather than losing time with emerging targets. Therefore, priority markets will be Spain, the UK, Germany and France, as according to Costa, “these will achieve faster results”. The ITP chief also went on to explain that “it is necessary to adapt according to the current situation and to look out for new operators and airlines, which should work together more and more.”