(Left to the right, front row) Nuno Fazenda, Secretary of State for Tourism, and João Fernandes, President of the Algarve Tourism Board
(Left to the right, front row) Nuno Fazenda, Secretary of State for Tourism, and João Fernandes, President of the Algarve Tourism Board

University homecoming for Secretary of State for Tourism

Secretary of State for Tourism, Nuno Fazenda, visited the University of the Algarve 

There are places that leave a mark on our lives and this was one of them,” said Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism during a visit to the University of the Algarve (UAlg) on February 16.

Nuno Fazenda graduated from the university in 1999 with a degree in Tourism, having spoken during his visit about the “pride and gratitude” he feels towards the institution.

The secretary of state highlighted the “internationalisation of UAlg, its innovation and its cooperation with the region and the country as well as other Portuguese and international universities.”

Nuno Fazenda also expressed the government’s “total availability” to continue collaborating with the university.

The visit included a tour of the university’s management, hotel and tourism faculty (ESGHT) as well as the UAlg Tec Campus.

University rector Paulo Águas spoke of the pride of welcoming back a former student to UAlg and highlighted some of its main achievements, such as being ranked among the world’s 100 best universities in the Hospitality & Tourism Management category of the Shanghai Ranking – considered one of the most renowned in the world, featuring over 5,000 universities from 96 countries.

Alexandra Gonçalves, head of ESGHT, took advantage of the opportunity to urge Nuno Fazenda to invest more heavily in the “training and appreciation of human resources in the tourism sector.”

Meanwhile, the head of the Economy faculty Efigénio Rebelo spoke of the PhD course which is taught in English and was the first of its kind to be created in Portugal in 2007.

Marisol Correia, coordinator of CiTUR Algarve (Centre of Tourism Investigation, Development and Innovation), and Patrícia Pinto, coordinator of CinTurs (Investigation Centre for Tourism, Sustainability and Well-being), also attended the event and guided the secretary of state around their research centres.

The visit also included stops at the Host Lab – Hospitality, Sustainability and Tourism Experiences Lab, which aims to be a “sharing and learning space between the university and tourism and hotel sectors”, as well as the UAlg Tec Campus, where Fazenda met some of the entrepreneurs based at this business accelerator.

The event was also attended by Luís Araújo, president of the national tourism authority Turismo de Portugal, and João Fernandes, president of the Algarve tourism board (RTA).

By Michael Bruxo

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