We often hear people saying “Portugal is in fashion”. And the Algarve. And southwest Algarve. And Lisbon. And then Portugal again.
The influx of tourists from all over the world, the reports and articles focussing on Portuguese lifestyle, Portuguese creations and achievements, not to mention the 1000 ways of cooking codfish, the Port wine and the custard tart (pastel de nata), only serve to highlight “why Portugal is such a draw”. The value of the Mediterranean diet, which is much more than «an ancient life style», with its technical, productive and extractive practices, and its own methods of preparation, confection and consumption", "it’s also a celebration of hospitality” and has become the intangible cultural heritage of humanity (December 4, 2013, Azerbaijan). Combining flavor, variety, health, color and balance, the Mediterranean diet is "a way of seeing, thinking and acting; It is a model for community life”.
The current environment is undoubtedly a factor that affects this reality: the cost of living, the climate, food, security, leisure and the nightlife all help place Portugal in a prominent position, especially when compared to other countries within the euro region.
A publication in 2014 stated that «Portugal is like Spain… but better». So far, so good, until you realise that the publication is the work of a Spanish journalist (editor of the American magazine Condé Nast Traveller). In putting together 'twenty good reasons to leave everything and head to Portugal’, "Raquel Pinero can’t escape from the beauty of the beaches of Portugal where, from the north to the Algarve (...) there will always be new one to discover, one of those you had no idea existed, to the point of it becoming our favorite beach." Nor does she miss out on the wine, «which goes beyond the moment it is drank – it is culture, tradition and geography» and even the «buttered bread and olives as an appetizer» are authentically delicious, states the journalist.
She also refers to Portugal as "another world", describing moments in which "we seem to have gone back in time with the arrival of the fishermen at the harbour, selling the catch of the day as it comes in, the freshest produce in the world». The influence of the colonies, "noted not only by the echoes that resonate in fado but also the availability of good quality chocolate and coffee «and the affection and education of the Portuguese people" finishes this article, which only adds to national pride.
According to the National Institute of Statistic (NIS), «between January and July of 2015, the hotel sector has received 9.6 million guests resulting in 26.8 million of overnight stays», which led Pires de Lima (Minister for economic affairs at the time) to consider «pulling Portugal away from being a low-cost touristic destination, and emerging with much more valued supply». In accordance to the data, between July of 2014 and July of 2015, the number of guests in Portugal has grown 8.8% (a total of 1.9 million). With regards to 2016, the president of tourism in Portugal, João Cotrim, has pointed out that «everything seems to be going in the same direction» and that «Portugal is in a position to have a year full of records».
In the southwest point of Algarve, the city of Lagos «was the third city in the country with the largest number of reservations in hostels in 2015, after Lisbon and Porto». According to the Hostelworld, this Algarve city is in the «top 100 cities with more reservations for this type of touristic accommodation».
Kathleen Peddicord, founder of the Live and Invest overseas publishing group, «reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring and investing overseas». In her last article, which highlights the best places to retire to overseas in 2016, Kathleen makes the Algarve out to be one of the best places to live in 2016 stating that «the cost of living is cheap, the real estate is affordable and the weather is great». Furthermore, she refers to the possibility of speaking only in English, because of the "the strong cultural and historical ties in the region with England.»
According to the British “Post Office” website quoted in “The Guardian”, «Algarve is the cheapest destination for British holiday spending», mainly due to «a fall in prices over the past year and a strengthening of the pound against the euro». This research was based on 44 countries throughout the world, and each country was surveyed on an equivalent basket of tourism goods (sun cream, coffee, a glass of wine, a dinner for two, a packet of cigarettes, a beer and a coke). A basket of these items in the Algarve would cost 29.32 pounds (about 38 €), the lowest of all the other countries.
This is the type of news that encourages the team at Casas do Barlavento to adapt to the growing demand for high quality services and customized contact.
Between the 1st of January and the 10th of August, 46.697 articles with references to the Algarve were found. So, we are in a position to say: everyone is talking about the “Nation of the Sun”. And also the Algarve. And Southwest Algarve. And Lisbon. And Portugal again.