Loulé is Portugal’s best municipality for tourism

Loulé was the winner of the Best Municipality for Tourism award in the 2013 Publituris Portugal Trade Awards.

The prize-giving ceremony, organised by Publituris magazine, took place on February 27 at the Bolsa de Turismo de Lisboa (BTL) event. In attendance was the recently-appointed Secretary of State for Tourism, Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, who replaced Cecília Meireles in the role.

Other nominees for the same award were the municipalities of Cascais, Guimarães, Funchal, Lisbon and Vila Real de Santo António.

Another victory for Loulé was the naming of Vilamoura as Best Marina.

Collecting the Best Municipality for Tourism prize on behalf of the Câmara was councillor Joaquim Guerreiro, who said the award recognises the work that has been developed by the municipality in the past 12 years, particularly in the areas of land use planning, infrastructure, urban rehabilitation, nature conservation, promotion and entertainment.

He mentioned the many international sporting events that are held regularly in the municipality that help to place Loulé in the spotlight, such as the Rally de Portugal and the Portugal Masters golf tournament.

Loulé councillor for tourism Joaquim Guerreiro received the municipality award
Loulé councillor for tourism Joaquim Guerreiro received the municipality award

Joaquim Guerreiro concluded his speech by dedicating the award to the council’s entrepreneurs, visitors, tourists and residents, who have all played an important role in the attribution of the prize.

Loulé Mayor Seruca Emídio said he was very proud of the distinction and highlighted the importance of public and private investment in the county with projects that have helped “elevate” the image of Loulé in the national and international tourism markets.

He said that “excellence” has been key to the “Loulé brand” and that in the last eight years alone five luxury hotels and two golf courses have been built in the council.

Looking to the future, Seruca Emídio said he was excited about two important projects currently in the development phase that he believes will bring dynamism to impoverished areas. They are the Vale do Freixo Golf & Country Estate and the Quinta da Ombria Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort (see box). However, investors are still being sought to take the projects forward.

Meanwhile, the Rota Vicentina, a picturesque nature trail stretching from Sagres to Santiago do Cacém in the Alentejo, won the Innovation Prize at the Publituris awards.

||2013 Publituris Portugal Trade Awards winners

Best Cruise Company – Royal Caribbean

Best Aviation Services Management – ATR

Best Transfers Company – Best Transfers 4 You

Best Professional Congress Organiser (PCO) – The House of Events

Best International Operator – Jet2 Holidays

Best Events Venue – Mosteiro Santa Clara-a-Velha

Best Congress Venue – Centro de Congressos da Alfândega do Porto

Best Active Tourism Company – Picos de Aventura

Best Corporate Agency – Top Atlântico

Best Operator Site – Abreu Online

Best Port/Marina – Marina de Vilamoura

Best Independent Hotel – The Yeatman

Best Hotel Site – Porto Bay

Best Rural Tourism Unit – Casas do Côro

Best Municipality – Loulé

Innovation Prize – Rota Vicentina