Royal couple are invited to honeymoon in the Algarve

By Inês Lopes [email protected]

Prince William and Kate Middleton,who will get marriedon April 29 next year, have been invited by the Algarve Tourism Board to spend their honeymoon in the region.

Following the announcement of the RoyaI wedding, which made headlines across the world, tourism officials in the Algarve were quick to make the invitation via the British Embassy in Lisbon. Many luxury hotels and resorts have already jumped on the andwagon, offering their best accommodation facilities.

It is hoped the Algarve’s climate and stunning scenery will lure the Prince and future Princess to the region. British Consul to the Algarve Clive Jewell said he hoped the couple would accept the invitation as this would serve to further strengthen the alliance that already exists between both countries.

The British Embassy told the Algarve Resident this week that the invitation, once officially received from the Algarve Tourism Board, would be forwarded to the FCO Royal Households Secretariat, the foreign office department which handles matters relating to the Royal Family.

“I am sure there will be a response to the invitation via the Embassy in Lisbon,” said the Embassy spokesman.

In a statement to the press, accompanied by a photograph of Praia da Marinhain the Lagoa council, Nuno Aires, president of the Algarve Tourism Board, said the invitation aimed to honor the close elations between the UK and Portugal and the old British tradition of holidaying in the Algarve or choosing the region as a home.“British tourists have always had the strongest presence in the region and represent more than half of passengers on international flights at Faro Airport,” he said.

Along with the invitation, Nuno Aires took the opportunity to congratulate the couple on their engagement and wish them “joy and happiness” for the future.

Responding to comments on his Facebook page from members of the public concerned that taxpayers would be paying for the Royal honeymoon, Nuno Aires said “public money would not be spent on this initiative as several Algarve hotels had already offered to accommodate the couple”.

However, the majority of Facebook comments were to congratulate Nuno Aires for the initiative, which was described as a great way of promoting the region as a desirable tourism destination. The president of the Algarve’s hotels and resorts association (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas, also wished to congratulate the tourism board for this “good marketing initiative”.

He told the Algarve Resident: “The Algarve has some of he best hotels and resorts in the world, therefore the Prince and future Princess would not be disappointed.

“In fact, I’m sure they would be delighted with our excellent accommodation facilities as well as climate, great customer service and hospitality.”

If the invitation is accepted, Elidérico Viegas recommends that the couple visit Sagres, sail along the coast on board the Boa Esperança Caravel and enjoy a meal in one of the region’s inland restaurants, try a locally produced wine, a typical Algarve almond sweet for dessert and finish off the dining experience with a Medronho.

Faro Civil Governor Isilda Gomes said that if the couple chose to honeymoon in the region, this would bring great prestige to the Algarve and a much needed boost for the tourism industry.

She said: “Our tourism offer is synonymous with quality and excellence and would no doubt rise tot he occasion.”

A spokesman for Vale do Lobo told the Algarve Resident that they would be delighted to accommodate Prince William and Kate Middleton at the resort.

She said: “We are very used to receiving high profile celebrities here. Vale do Lobo would be an ideal honeymoon estination, particularly for its security, which would no doubt be a decisive factor for the couple.”

She added: “I can already picture the couple staying in one of our fabulous villas with views and direct access to the beach.”

In the western Algarve, Martinhal Beach Resort& Hotel in Sagres is also prepared to welcome the Royal couple.

A spokesman said: “We are sure that they would appreciate the unspoilt nature of the western Algarve and the opportunity to experience the multitude of activities that we have on offer.”

Do you have a view on this story? Email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]