The Algarve is well prepared to host all kinds of events
It is common to hear that the Algarve is a leisure destination not only from international clients but also from national players, and, as such, is neither prepared nor competitive in the Meetings Industry. Or that it does not have adequate venues to host congresses. Or even that it does not have the accessibility of a capital and, therefore, is not very easy to market.
All these preconceived ideas about the destination are easily refuted. If the first and second statements could not be further from reality, the third one is also easily countered if we consider that the distance-time from Humberto Delgado Airport to the Algarve is similar to that necessary from the centre of many capital cities to the airport that serves them.
The Algarve’s “most famous secret in Europe”'s claim reflects well that this destination has much more to offer than most people know, and that is also true to this segment. The ignorance of the existing supply often plays in our favour. It is easy to create a project that will easily surprise customers with the variety of options and the excellent value for money.
That this is a consolidated leisure tourism destination is an obvious finding. Less obvious, but also true, is the fact that this region is well prepared to host all kinds of events in the Meetings Industry. As well as providing a diverse hotel offer with high service standards, located from the coast to the interior, at the better known areas in the region, but also in locations outside the more concentrated tourist sites, there is also a multiple choice of congress centres, meeting rooms and venues.
Seasonal leisure demand allows many units to offer exclusivity for a congress or event, an option that is difficult to have in large cities. Simultaneously, many hotels are flexible in changing both decoration and use given to their rooms. These facts give the Algarve competitive advantages over destinations without seasonal peaks.
Besides accommodation and meeting rooms, the Algarve has exceptional weather that provides over 300 days of sunshine per year and it is during the low season that these weather features become more attractive, with characteristically dry winters that allow outdoor activities. With well-preserved natural areas and an already well-structured nature tourism, the range of activities available has been increasing both in quality and variety.
In addition to the traditional tourist facilities, nature, weather and a multitude of DMCs in the region or with adequate knowledge to market, the Algarve's International Racing Track has also made the region extremely competitive in the international automotive sector, offering a wide range of options for team building actions.
With the available tourist activities' diversity and quality, in the Algarve it is easy to create an out of the box program. You just need to choose the right ingredients to create the recipe that meets the expectations of each client. There are many options, and sometimes the difficulty is choosing between art and cultural visits. Among driving experiences or marine sports, gastronomy and wine, there are sports activities, nature attractions...
Alexandra Ramos, Meetings Industry Senior Product Manager at Algarve Tourism Bureau