The Walking Festival of Ameixial, the Alcoutim Walking Festival and a new one, to be held in Lagos, promoted by the Almargem association, are part of the calendar of the “Algarve Walking Season”. The new project was created to jointly promote the three initiatives and with the idea of “attracting more people” to the region.
The “Algarve Walking Season” will be officially presented at the Lisbon Tourism Exchange (BTL), which starts tomorrow, February 28th, and runs until March 4th, but even before that, the Sul Informação spoke with João Ministro, director of the ProActiveTur company and one of the faces of the new project, which is promoted by the QRER cooperative.
«We, responsible for the Walking Festival of Ameixial, have always been in contact with the Alcoutim Walking Festival and we started to discuss, with them and with the Algarve Tourism Region, the idea of trying to make an articulation between festivals, with a greater coverage of the region as well,” he explained.
Thus, a candidacy for the “Valorizar” program of Turismo de Portugal emerged, which has already been approved, and which allows the “Algarve Walking Season” to be born. The idea is to have a festival in Sotavento (Alcoutim), another in Barlavento (Lagos) and one in the more central Algarve (Ameixial).
The objective is also for each festival to take place in different seasons of the year: Ameixial in spring, Alcoutim in winter, and the brand new festival in Lagos in autumn.
«We wanted to do it by season, except in summer due to the heat, so that people have different motivations for coming to the Algarve and there is no overlap. Therefore, there will be different walks according to the season and different themes in different places», said João Ministro.
Even so, the base will always be the same: walking and discovering the corners of the Algarve.
In addition, the three festivals are also a different tourist product from the traditional sun and beach and help to develop the local economy.
Basically, the new project wants to serve to promote, together, the festivals, for example, with regard to the marketing digital, merchandising and actions with journalists.
“We want a calendar that is launched every year and can grow in terms of events. The idea is to promote, always in an articulated manner, the various hiking events in the Algarve and thus attract more people, more often, to the Algarve», explained João Ministro.
It is that, he reinforced, «there is already a consolidated public. We, at Ameixial, feel this, but we want to continue to attract people from outside the Algarve and abroad. This project will reinforce that possibility».
«The Algarve is already ahead, for many reasons, in nature tourism and hiking. This further strengthens the region's role in the market», he concluded.
The Ameixial Walking Festival is already scheduled for this year (April 27th to 29th), as well as Alcoutim's (March 9th to 11th). The new festival, to be held in Lagos, does not yet have a set date, but what about the Sul Informação found out, it will happen in November.