Allgarve 2009 from May to November

Real Madrid’s Pepe and driver Pedro Lamy took part in the presentation of the 3rd "Allgarve" tourist programme in Madrid yesterday, marked out this year by a longer calendar and one with more events. This year’s programme was presented to journalists at the Portugal stand at FITUR, the Madrid International Tourism Fair, in the presence of the Secretary of State for Tourism, Bernardo Trindade, and the president of Turismo de Portugal, Luís Patrão.

For Bernardo Trindade the Allgarve programme was absolutely essential in the framework of events for promoting Portugal.

He told journalists at the Portugal stand at FITUR that it was about making a promotional effort that aimed to ensure the confidence of people who visit the country, consolidating what were “very positive figures” in the tourism sector last year.

In this case, he stressed that the programme would last longer, from May to November, which will enable them to ensure that there are events outside the traditional months of the tourist season.

He said that focus was on combining the efforts of tour operators and private partners, of bodies involves in contemporary art and the “voices of gastronomy”. He stressed that, in the light of a very difficult economic situation which could have an effect in 2009 and 2010, what was expected from the government and the sector was to be proactive.

Repeating and seeking to broaden the success of previous such programmes, this year’s Allgarve will focus on aspects as wide-ranging as gastronomy and sport, fine art and music, and the art programme “Guest Project” will be launched.

For the first “Guest Project”, the Spanish curators Maria de Corral and Lorena de Corral have been invited, and they will present their exhibition in one of the most impressive settings in Algarve Art in 2009, the salt mine in Loulé, which is located 230 metres below sea level.

Still in the field of art, and with the theme "As Bright As The Sun", the Allgarve art exhibitions will be held between June and September in the Faro-Loulé and Portimão-Lagos areas.

In music, the highlights are the "Edition" concerts, organised under a partnership between Turismo de Portugal, the local authorities and private companies, representing “one of the most popular aspects of the Allgarve programme”.

According to the Allgarve 2009 documents released yesterday, the aim is to organise intimate concerts, with performances by acclaimed Portuguese and international artists, in unique venues.

Events that will be back this year include "Allgarve Jazz", the biggest festival currently held in Portugal and the first to span a whole region, occupying venues at historical sites and hotels in the region over three weekends in July.

The 2009 programme also includes "Allgarve Gourmet" which will provide a blend of the modern and the traditional during the Shellfish and the Sardine Festivals, with highly regarded chefs providing dishes made from the best Algarve produce, prepared in a sophisticated manner.

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