A NEW awards programme was recently launched by the Instituto de Turismo de Portugal (ITP), to reward companies for high quality projects in public spaces. In the first edition of Prémio Turismo – Valorização do Espaço Público, the ‘Services’ category was won by Portal Lifecooler of Sítios, Serviços de Informação Turística, S.A., based in Lisbon, while the ‘Construction Project’ category was won by Empreendimento Cais de Gaia, promoted by Dourocais Investimentos Imobiliários, S.A., based in Braga.
In total, there were 165 entries, submitted by councils and various public and private entities. Submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges, headed by well-known entrepreneur André Jordan, which included Orlando Carrasco, president of ITP, Cristina Siza Vieira, director general of tourism, Atílio Forte, president of the Portuguese Tourism Federation, and architect Frederico Valsassina.
The awards were designed by sculptor João Cutileiro and were presented by Manuel Pinho, Minister for the Economy, and Bernardo Trindade, Secretary of State for Tourism, during a gala evening held at Lisbon’s Museu da Electricidade recently.
Prizes in the ‘Services’ category are given with the aim of recognising initiatives that stand out for their ability to surpass the level of service expected by the consumer, while diversifying and developing the tourism offer, improving its accessibility and making it a more interesting and enriching experience. This prize values positive and innovative ideas in the services sector. The award was given to the Lifecooler website (www.lifecooler.com) for its quality design and provision of frequent updates of important tourism information, benefiting the marketing of national tourism as a whole.
The ‘Construction Project’ category aims to highlight building projects that benefit tourism by enhancing natural resources and heritage. These are projects that create new attraction points or renovate areas with potential to become tourist hot-spots, making them more appealing for those who visit them and encouraging good social and environmental practice. The award in this category was given to Empreendimento Cais de Gaia for the total refurbishment of an area in poor condition, situated in the privileged location of the Vila Nova de Gaia docks, making it possible to set up a tourist attraction. The successful form of land management adopted was another reason for their win.
Honorary mentions were also awarded in both categories. In the ‘Services’ category, they went to: Projecto Tourmac, which comprised the creation of a network of pedestrian walkways in Madeira; Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e Recursos Naturais for the improvement in safety, qualification and preservation of the natural patrimony of Floresta Laurissilva; Promoção do Turismo Cultural e Religioso no Norte for the TCR project that succeeded in strengthening the co-operation between various entities for the efficient organisation of the tourism offer and promotion of a well structured product through training and motivation of the agents involved; and Madeira Story Centre, promoted by Fun, Centros Temáticos do Funchal, for its originality and interactive skills displayed in promoting the destination and the high standard of service received by tourists visiting the centre.
In the ‘Construction Project’ category, honorary mentions were given to: Guimarães Câmara for the Centro Cultural de Vila Flor building project; Instituto Português dos Museus for the installation of the provisionary centre of Évora Museum, as an innovative solution to remodel a museum without closing it to the public; and Póvoa do Varzim Câmara for the urban re-qualification of Porto de Mar, which saw a dilapidated area refurbished without destroying its historical heritage. Other projects to be distinguished in the ‘Construction Project’ category were the conversion of the Convento do Espinheiro in Évora and the Art Centre of Sines.
Music during the gala evening was provided by Jorge Palma, the Big Band Hot Clube de Portugal and Fado singers, Carmo Rebelo de Andrade and António Vasco Moraes.