Looking to Canada for more tourists

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

An agency that promotes Albufeira as a tourist destination hit the road in North America at the end of last month in an effort to attract more Canadian visitors to the city.

APAL worked in collaboration with travel agency JM Vacations and visited four cities in Ontario, Canada from September 27 to 30, holding workshops in Toronto, London, Kitchener and Mississauga.

Several hotels in Albufeira presented their offerings to around 50 travel agents and tour operators at each of the seminars and their tour packages to more than 300 potential visitors.

A spokesman from APAL said: “Travel agents and the public in general who attended our presentations were very interested in knowing more about the region and Albufeira in particular.

“Most of them were convinced that the Algarve offers stronger, more competitive products than Florida and the Caribbean. Canada is a market that operates mainly in the low season and is a strong market with a higher tendency to travel more to Portugal in the future.”

The spokesman added that it was now important for tourism entities like the national tourism board Turismo de Portugal and travel entities such as ANA, TAP and SATA to create operational and promotional strategies to enable the Algarve to consolidate the Canadian market as a priority during the low season.

Meanwhile, music convention and entertainment festival Canadian Music Week (CMW) will celebrate its 30th year in Toronto on March 21 to 25 next year with a focus on Portugal and Spain.

A spokesman from the organisation told the Algarve Resident: “CMW is the major music festival in Canada and one of the largest in the world with 900 bands, over 90 venues, thousands of music lovers and over 3,000 music business delegates from around the world attending, including labels, agents, bookers, publishers, managers and promoters.”

The Portugal Music Scene, an International Development service promoting new Portuguese artists in foreign territories, in association with Fabulous Generation and Lisboagencia, are calling their collective initiative Mission: Canada.

Its aim is to help Portuguese bands invited to the historic event showcase what Portugal has to offer.

“With more than 17 bands from Portugal invited to play Canadian Music Week already, Mission: Canada is an unprecedented and innovative approach to the exportation of Portuguese music,” said the spokesman.