The Algarvensis Geopark – which brings together Loulé, Silves and Albufeira – has announced the signing of a protocol to support the ‘Algarve Craft & Food’ project.
The project, created last year by the regional tourism board (RTA), aims to promote traditional crafts and cuisine as assets to attract more holidaymakers.
To achieve this goal, the tourism board vowed to “create and promote unique and sustainable tourism experiences, especially in areas with a smaller influx of holidaymakers, such as rural and inland areas”.
However, as the project was announced shortly before the outbreak of Covid-19, not much has been heard about it since.
This has now changed with the formal announcement that these three boroughs are backing the project.
“The first step,” they say, “has already been taken and involves attracting artisans, local food producers and other players through presentation events.”
The second involves giving these “players” the knowledge and preparation they need to bring food and crafts together to offer a sustainable tourism experience.
This will be followed by an “experimental phase, with a creative residence and creative lab for those who want to join the project,” reads a statement released by the Algarvensis Geopark.
“The Algarvensis Geopark and Algarve Craft & Food share common goals and aim to preserve and revitalise traditional practices and customs.
If all goes according to plan, a series of prototypes of new handicrafts inspired by regional cuisine will be created with the goal of “launching five new handicraft products”.
By the end of the project, the goal will be to have a wealth of “digital and physical content” to create an international campaign to promote the Algarve in national and foreign markets, such as the USA, Canada and the North of Europe.
The Algarvensis Geopark, which since 2019 is aspiring to join the official network of UNESCO Geoparks, has contributed over €37,000 to the project, which all in all involves an investment of around €725,000 – 70% of which is funded by the CRESC Algarve 2020 programme.
About UNESCO Geoparks
UNESCO Global Geoparks are described on their website as “single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development”.
The website adds: “Their bottom-up approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities is becoming increasingly popular.”
There are currently 161 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 44 countries.