Tourism chief calls for “more money” to promote Algarve

The government is going to have to channel more money into the Algarve if it wants the region to continue thriving on the tourism scene.

The warning came from Desidério Silva, president of the regional tourism board (RTA), who spoke to journalists in Lisbon yesterday (January 21) following the presentation of the region’s Strategic Marketing Plan for 2015-2018.

The plan will see the region receiving €6 million this year to invest in three main “strategic products”: the ‘sun and the sea’ and golf and residential tourism; business, nature and nautical tourism; and finally gastronomy and wine, tours and health tourism.

But the money is nowhere near enough, claims Silva.

“We cannot do anything without more support and the Algarve has to be supported all year long, not just in July and August,” he added, stressing that holding events in the Algarve during March, April, May and October is “fundamental” for the region to fight the “low-season blues”.

The problem is that it is hard to convince the government that “investing in events is not spending money, it is investing it”.

More money also needs to go on promoting the region abroad so that it can continue to build on the Algarve’s rising tourism statistics.

According to the RTA, the Algarve registered the highest number of sleepovers of the last 10 years – 16.4 million – in 2014.

Data also shows that although the region is visited mostly by British, German and Dutch tourists, the French market has been registering significant increases, with sleepovers and hotel guests increasing 20% and 35% between January and November last year compared to the same period in 2013.

As Silva told the Resident recently, the regional tourism authorities are “working hard” to promote the region in the French market for 2015 (see https://www.portugalresident.com/%E2%80%98french-invasion%E2%80%99-takes-algarve-by-storm).

By MICHAEL BRUXO
[email protected]