Portugal’s Minister of Economy Promotes Residential Tourism in the UK
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Álvaro Santos Pereira, Portugal’s minister of economy, visited London on February 25 as a part of the government’s latest attempt to promote Portugal’s vacation homes. The new strategy puts exclusive emphasis on the so-called residential tourism in the country's best resorts.
State secretary for tourism Adolfo Mequita Nunes accompanied the minister during the two-day trip to London. Apart from talking to local officials, the minister visited the Portuguese embassy in the United Kingdom.
Portugal’s government adopted a new strategy that aims to increase the number of vacation property sales in the country. A marketing campaign is a part of the new strategy. The campaign is worth approximately 828,000 euro that will be spent on a promotional road show starting from the UK.
“Residential Tourism is a strategic tourist product for Portugal, with an across-the-board impact on national economy and employment – especially at a regional and local level – which will also contribute towards abating seasonality in tourism,” Álvaro Santos Pereira said during his visit to London.
The Portuguese minister met the British minister of state for trade and investment Stephen Green. Álvaro Santos Pereira also participated in the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum. He discussed the new Portuguese program for economic dynamism.
On February 26, Álvaro Santos Pereira attended a seminar on the partnership between British and Portuguese companies. The Portuguese minister participated as a seminar speaker at the event organized by the UK trade and investment British agency. More than 150 representatives of British companies attended the seminar.
The Portuguese delegation included representatives of 15 major companies that operate in the health, energy and education sectors.
According to the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, Europeans are still interested in buying a second home abroad, despite of the financial crisis that affected severely several EU countries in 2012. A clear trend is noticeable – buyers show interest in well-developed travel destination that have a history and a good reputation.
The Portuguese Chamber of Commerce report concludes that second home markets like France, Italy, Portugal, the US and Spain will continue being popular among vacation property buyers in 2013.
The Portuguese strategy targets the UK because the number of British residential tourists is increasing steadily. British consider the purchase of a vacation home to be a good investment, much better than the purchase of precious metals or savings and stocks. The number of searches for vacation houses increased in November 2011 and is expected to keep on growing steadily.
Some interesting figures are provided to back up the findings of the report. From 2006 to 2010, the number of British families that purchased a vacation home in another country increased by 50,000. Spain and Portugal remain two of the vacation home buyers’ most favorite destinations. Other popular countries for the purchase of vacation property include France, the US, Canada, Cyprus, Italy and the Caribbean countries. Most of the residential tourists look for destinations that are located close to the beach and that show the local cultural and culinary heritage.
Of all the vacation home owners in Portugal, 50 percent plan to let their properties in an attempt to generate passive income. One third of the vacation property owners plan to sell their houses. A fifth consider a move to their Portuguese vacation homes upon retirement. Vacation properties in Algarve rank among the most popular ones for the UK residential tourists because of the beautiful nature and the well-developed tourism infrastructure.
Portugal is a solid competitor on the vacation real estate market because of the beautiful nature and the quality of the construction works. Despite the fact that Portugal has registered a decrease in property sales, the figures are starting to go up again. Mainly lifestyle and retirement buyers are interested in Portuguese vacation houses because of the country’s safety and the factors connected to a high quality of life. Additionally, the local real estate market proved to be more stable than the ones of competing neighboring countries. Despite a recent decrease in the price of property, certain Portuguese regions and vacation spots are continuously seeing an increase in vacation home prices.
The Algarve region is one of the best performers in Portugal. It excels in the niche of luxury real estate. Algarve interests buyers that understand the valuation potential of the property. According to the Worldwide Property Group, Portugal is re-emerging as a popular option on the global real estate market, especially in terms of its popular vacation spots.
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