By: Chris Graeme
ATTRACTING BUDGET tourists is no longer the main aim for the Algarve region, said Minister for the Economy and Innovation, Manuel Pinho, at the unveiling of the region’s new brand logo, which took place at the Feira de Turismo do Algarve in Lisbon’s Parque das Nações last Friday.
In conjunction with Turismo de Portugal, the new brand Allgarve represented part of the six million euro investment package aiming to attract more affluent tourists to the region.
Opening the three-day fair, Manuel Pinho joined Tourism Minister Bernardo Trindade in officially unveiling the rainbow coloured trademark and its slogan, Experiências que Marcam (Memorable Experiences).
Pinho said the idea was to create investment roots that would continue for at least three years. The government is to invest at least three million euros in cultural events, shows and sports in the region this year, and also wants to encourage more international events, concerts, fashion parades, exhibitions, sailing and golf competitions. “Tourism in the region is at its highest level ever, but we want more short-stay tourists, affluent holidaymakers and foreigners choosing Portugal to buy their second home,” he said.
Apart from improving the country’s image and raising its profile through international sporting and cultural events, the government aims to improve hotel training, create high class hotels and apartments, make tourism more ecologically friendly, increase the number of low cost companies present at Faro Airport, invest in new tourism regions such as western Alentejo and give financial breaks to foreigners buying second homes in Portugal.
JOSÉ MENDES Bota, MP and Algarve leader of the Social Democrat Party (PSD), is firmly against the Allgarve branding campaign, describing it as “pompous”, “in bad taste” and another “attack” by the government on the Algarve.
“Independent of the possible merit of the promotional campaign’s content, it should be firmly rejected due to its title,” he said.
Mendes Bota believes that the Algarve is well established in the market and this alteration will only serve to destroy a successful brand name. “It is not dignified nor does it show respect for the name of the region,” he said.
The MP is calling on the government to immediately suspend the campaign until a new slogan can be developed, which is “not offensive to the people of the Algarve”. He is asking the PSD members of the Tourism Board to demand the entity holds a meeting as soon as possible in order to denounce the campaign. He is also demanding that they refuse to co-operate with any promotional activities linked to the campaign.
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