Tourist interest away from the coast

Dear Editor,

You kindly invite views on the convent at Monchique. I wonder how much interest the item will bring? I visited the convent some 10 years ago; even then its occupants were pigs and to say it was derelict would be an understatement – and the path/track up to it in a tourist area?

Frankly, Monchique itself has little to offer, even Fóia compared with, say, Germany, UK, the whole area is a disappointment and there seems to be no interest from either the Câmara or Junta de Freguesia in a way forward, in meeting visitor expectations.

But, then, has anyone visited Paderne castle or even tried to find the one at Salir? One gets the view that there is a lack of understanding (interest) in these matters.

A failure to look forward at what we have to offer, especially away from the coast; and the ceaseless golf courses! A conservative view that is damaging.

This attitude, a failure to understand, is probably one reason for the Allgarve season failing. Who is it for? One could be forgiven for thinking that entertainment is only for the Portuguese, or stretched, the Spanish.

Rarely, even in your paper, have I seen an advertisement in English for the Allgarve events; nor on posters, billboards etc. And it is the same with so much: programmes of events in Albufeira, Silves, etc., tourist directional signs in Albufeira, TV screens etc. in Portimão (trying to attract cruise tourists).

Indeed, the Allgarve festival seems to be built round the Lisbon tourists during their July/August visits.

The cork museum in Silves failed, bankrupt, because it did not look at its markets; ignoring the non-Portuguese tourist.

The pretty village of Alte is commercially dying for the same reason, as Câmara Presidents seem to believe tourists in the Algarve are only Portuguese!

So will the convent be saved, any interest? Sorry, will there be any change even with the new tourist boards? No.

D TAYLOR-SMITH, by email