Portugal’s tourism authority is to launch a plan later this year to combat the downturn of holiday visitors to the Algarve during the off peak months.
The idea is to create new strategies to increase the flow of tourists to the region between November this year and March 2014.
The first meeting to discuss the plan took place in Lisbon between Turismo de Portugal and Agencia Regional de Promoção Turismo do Algarve (ATA) and the principal tour operators working in the Algarve.
In the coming weeks, more meetings with other relevant agencies in the tourism sector are scheduled in a bid to create ideas and proposals in order to develop the plan, which will be structured according to four subjects: accessibility, product quality, distribution and sales support.
Seasonality is one of the biggest problems facing the Algarve, which is the biggest tourism region in the country, and it is necessary to guarantee not only a consistent flow of visitors but to ensure the existence of a high quality tourism product that could be available all the year round, according to ATA.
Up until November last year, the Algarve registered more than 14 million beds (more than one-third the national total), 75% of which were foreign visitors, notably from the UK, Holland and Germany, and almost half of these were during the months of July, August and September.
||Public and private effort to save tourism
Tourism boards need to work closer with the private sector to safeguard the future of Portugal as a holiday destination of choice, said an association representing hotels and resorts in the Algarve.
AHETA believes the public bodies responsible for tourism promotion strategies and national plans for the sector need to be depoliticised and decentralised, in order to allow input from the private sector which has practical, on the ground knowledge.
In a press statement this week, the association stressed that the government and the private sector need to work together to elaborate “strategic guidelines” for tourism.