Summer 2011 offers a chance for Portugal to be back ‘on the map’
Friday 29, July 2011
The introduction of low-cost airfares put countries such as Portugal, which relies on its tourism trade, under increasing pressure as The Americas and Far East were made more accessible to the masses.
However, rising fuel costs mean long-haul flights are once again reserved for the more affluent, providing the likes of Portugal an opportunity to be put back on the map. With numerous planned events and funded improvements being made to encourage and cater for the increased tourism in Portugal this summer, Infinito Real believe this is a great time for property investors.
The coastal hot spots such as Vilamoura attract the greatest number of tourists with the lure of sun, sand, sea and numerous leisure options, such as great golf courses and wonderful water-sport activities. With August typically seeing more than 30,000 people a day in this town, this year an investment of around €1.3 million has been used to improve the area by enlarging pedestrian areas and creating a cycle path which extends for 1.5 kilometres, including the ring that surrounds the marina and the majority of Vilamoura hotels.
Stephen Anderson, Managing Director of Infinito Real says “Next year, there are plans to upgrade the marina with a new set of buildings containing shops and restaurants. The marina will also have more space for larger boats to moor, adding to the existing 1,000 spaces that make it the largest marina in Portugal. They have already started work on this by decking the whole area around the marina allowing for a capacity of 2,000 people to sit overlooking the water.”
According to Anderson, Vilamoura has become increasingly popular with the sophisticated urban crowd who are drawn by the regular themed parties at the spectacular PuroBeach which offers a relaxed atmosphere in opulent surrounds during the day, and a place to party at night with top DJs and live performances. “As property prices have dropped, Vilamoura has become more accessible to those looking to make a purchase and these improvements and increased interest as a holiday ‘hot-spot’, are great news for investors whose assets will only appreciate over time as the improvements continue to take shape.”
Summer events which are taking place in Portugal and will be big attractions for tourists are the Festival Med in Loulé which has already taken place in June. It is one of the largest world music celebrations in Portugal and filled the calçada streets of the city center with music originating from Morocco and various southern European countries, such as Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal. Stephen comments “other important events are the annual Festival do Marisco and the International Sand Sculpture Festival.”
“The Festival do Marisco is a paradise for seafood lovers and an opportunity to bring locals and visitors together to see Portuguese culture at its best.” Due to be held in August in the town of Olhão, just five kilometers from Faro, the festival is one of the most important gastronomic events in the Algarve calendar. “Visitors have the chance to sample some of the local delicacies with a wide range of seafood on offer from shrimp to shellfish, as well as the favourite traditional Portuguese dish of Cataplana, consisting of clams, mussels, bacon, chouriço, garlic, onions and olive oil.”
The International Sand Sculpture Festival held in Pêra, Algarveis considered the largest sand sculpture festival in the world, people travel from all over to see experts in this art give shape to thirty-five thousand tons of sand.
Stephen concludes “many countries are struggling in these austere times but the trade of national and international tourism, which is predicted to be high this summer, is vitally important to the Portuguese economy. It is important that local businesses and the government take heed of this and make the most of the opportunity to show how much Portugal has to offer so we can attract new and loyal visitors and investors, which could lead the country back to financial health”.
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