The global tourism and travel industry has once again recognised the Algarve as “Europe’s leading beach destination”. This is the seventh time that the region’s beaches have been honoured in the World Travel Awards.
Tourism and travel industry leaders from around the world participate in the annual initiative, voting for the best tourism options at a global level. They also named Portugal as “Europe’s leading destination” for a fourth consecutive year.
For Turismo do Algarve, this year’s award had a special significance. “In a year as troubled as 2020,” said president João Fernandes, “receiving this award and continuing to earn the trust of travellers from all over the world is extremely rewarding. This distinction not only recognises the quality of our beaches and our offer but also shows that the Algarve continues to be a safe destination for holidays, tranquil and complying with public health protection rules.”
According to the tourism bureau, the Algarve was one of the first European regions to open its beaches in 2020 , guaranteeing all safety conditions. “Strengthening the security of the destination and regaining the confidence of tourists has been our priority since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Fernandes.
“There was a great mobilisation and a joint effort by the whole region in this regard, which proved to be essential to consolidate and transmit an image of confidence. Receiving this international distinction thus validates all that work and proves that the destination can adapt to new circumstances, without altering the quality and authenticity of experiences for tourists.”
The bureau believes the characteristics most valued by visitors are the beauty and diversity of the Algarve’s beaches, year-round sunshine and perfect conditions for water sports. The region is home to 87 “Blue Flag” beaches and 48 beaches with accessibility for people with disabilities, and is committed to sound environmental practices when cleaning and preserving beach areas and to providing top-quality infrastructures and support services.
“More than just a beach destination,” said Fernandes, “our complementary offer is very rich and diverse – ranging from golf, nautical tourism and nature tourism to culture and gastronomy. In this way, we have managed to allow tourists to discover a series of other experiences and be pleasantly surprised by a destination that proves to be unique and genuine.”
Welcoming Portugal’s recognition as Europe’s top destination – and a total of 27 European awards around the country – Visit Portugal CEO Luis Araujo said, “These awards are a wonderful recognition for the dedicated professionals throughout Portugal’s tourism industry and our many destination assets but, even more importantly this year, it shows that we have kept the trust of our domestic and international visitors with programs such as Clean & Safe, to keep people safe as they travel.”