North Tipp Vital to Algarve Success
A seminar for the Irish Travel Trade hosted at the Cornstore, Limerick by Jose Ramos, Director of the Portuguese Trade & Tourism Board Office in Ireland, heard that Ireland is the seventh most important market for the hugely popular Algarve region.
A new three-times weekly service from Shannon to the Algarve starts on May 1st this year and will see the number of Irish visitors to the sun-kissed Portuguese destination this year break the 300,000 mark.
The new Shannon service will ensure the recovery of the Irish market for the Algarve continues this year – 2012 was the first year that numbers from Ireland to the attractive Portuguese destination increased since 2008.
Commenting at the seminar, local travel agent Tony Brasil of Limerick Travel said, “Portugal and The Algarve itself has always been big business for us. We know the Algarve, we know its hotels, and they go out of their way to look after the Irish. From big golfing groups, to weddings, really they can tailor for all needs, at the right price. And that is key at the moment.
“Numbers are up already this year for package holidays – and we are hoping this will continue. And of course the new Aer Lingus route from Shannon to Faro, gives our clients more choice – and shorter airport transfer times – always good news!”
Shannon Airport Director Mary Considine said that the new Algarve service is an extremely popular addition to the airport’s summer schedule. “Getting this Faro service through Aer Lingus has been a big boost to our summer schedule, with the Algarve being so popular among Irish tourists. We expect some 20,000 passengers through the airport this year as a result. It provides a welcome boost for sun seekers and holidaymakers from the across the region.”
Portugal’s Algarve offers an excellent product for Irish holidaymakers, as well as conference and incentive travel clients. With over 400 hotels, 40 golf courses, daily flights, and of course over 300 sunny days, the Irish continue to vote with their feet and head for The Algarve, with value for money being the key factor, as well as over 200kms of sandy beaches.
Portugal’s Algarve is continuing to develop its tourist infrastructure. Apart from being a superb location for golf and water-sports, The Algarve is now becoming a mecca for walkers with the Via Algarviana – a linked route of 300kms – starting at the tip of the Algarve atlantic coast of Vila do Bispo – stretching inland, right over to the Spanish border. The new Rota Vicentina heading north from the Algarve – at 241 kms - is also set to becoming a challenge for mountain bikers.