Portugal was announced the winner of 16th prizes at the Annual World Travel Awards

 

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Winners at the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2014 have been revealed during a night of suspense at the Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso in Athens, Greece.

Hailed as ‘the Oscars of the travel industry’, World Travel Awards celebrates its 21st anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade.

The brand aims to celebrate those organisations that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence.

It is with a great pleasure that after the 9 prizes achieved last year, Portugal was now announce the winner of 16th prizes of the 21st World Travel Awards, voted by travel agents worldwide.

World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said:”Europe is presently in the middle of a fast paced recovery after a couple of tough years, and the brands that have taken our awards tonight are at the forefront of this. Our voters have recognised these are the key industry players who will be leading the pack over the coming years. This is a springboard to their continued success”

Europe’s Leading Airline to South America TAP Portugal
Europe’s Leading Airline to Africa TAP Portugal
Europe’s Leading All Inclusive Resort Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & Spa, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel Vila Joya, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Boutique Resort Choupana Hills Resort & Spa, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Cruise Destination Lisbon, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Cruise Port Porto de Lisboa, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Design Hotel The Vine Hotel, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Hotel Residences Pine Cliffs Residence, Albufeira, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Landmark Hotel Bairro Alto Hotel, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Island Destination Madeira Islands
Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort Conrad Algarve, Portugal
Europe’s Leading River Cruise Company DouroAzul
Europe’s Leading Tourist Board Turismo de Portugal
Europe’s Leading Villa Resort Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel, Portugal
Europe’s Most Romantic Resort Vila Vita Parc, Portugal

 

WTA’s global media partner network includes International New York Times, TV5Monde, CNBC Arabiya, Newsweek, Outlook Traveller, Travel & Leisure, Khaleej Times, Trade Arabia, TTN, Trav Talk India, Publituris, ASTA Network, Breaking Travel News, eTurboNews, Travel Daily News International and Focus on Travel News.

 
 

 

World Golf Awards inaugural Gala Ceremony in Quinta do Lago

The Luxury Conrad Hotel in Quinta do Lago has been chosen to host the World Golf Awards inaugural Gala Ceremony. The event takes place in 5 months time, from 14th to 16th of November.

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“It was announced earlier this week that the three-day sporting extravaganza will take place at what is one of the Algarve’s newest and most modern hotels, the Conrad Algarve.

The World Golf Awards were created to “celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism, world class courses and golf destinations”, according to a statement sent to The Portugal News from the organisers.

It explained: “Golf tourism constitutes a vital segment in the global travel and tourism marketplace. An estimated 600 million golfer visits will take place in 2014 to the 32,000 golf courses and resorts worldwide. The inaugural World Golf Awards will focus on the leading 130 nations who are shaping the future of this dynamic industry.”

Story from: http://www.theportugalnews.com/

French invaders are welcomed by the taxman

 

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More than 2,200 French national bought house in Portugal last year and 20,000 will live in the country by the end of 2015.

This is the estimate from the Franco-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce & Industry , French retirees are moving to Portugal attracted by the golden retirement package offered by the Portuguese tax man, “there are many migrants who live eight or nine months in Portugal and the rest of the time in France. They already can benefit from new laws and not pay taxes on retirement income or on capital gains or dividends.”

The status of non-habitual resident in Portugal, in force since January 2013, allows any retired EU citizen tax exemption for ten years, provided he or she has not been a tax resident in Portugal in the last five. The laws also cover professionals pursuing a high added value job, which may benefit from an income tax reduction to an attractive 20%, somewhat more attractive than France’s top rate of 75%.

In the first Real Estate and Portuguese Tourism fair, between 70% and 75% of visitors were French, mostly retired, but the tax benefits can also be taken full advantage of by Portuguese immigrants who want to return to the country.

 

Story from: algarvedailynews.com

Holiday pound stretches furthest in Bali and the Algarve

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Swings in the pound and local price changes makes Bali the cheapest destination with the Algarve best value in Europe.

Bali has emerged as the best value holiday destination for British travellers this year, as a strengthening pound helps budgets stretch further in most resorts and cities.

Holiday costs for Britons were down in 70pc of the 44 destinations surveyed in the Post Office Travel Money report, with prices falling by up to 30pc.

Bali is the cheapest holiday destination overall, with a typical basket of holiday goods costing £31.48 compared with £115.06 in New Zealand, the most expensive destination surveyed.

The Portuguese Algarve came out as the cheapest destination in Europe, with a basket of items costing £35.37.

The survey showed that although the pound was slightly weaker against the euro compared to last year (-1.9pc), prices have fallen 18pc in the Algarve. Conversely, Spain was the only country to record a significant price increase, with meal costs rising 22pc on the Costa del Sol. This pushed Spain’s basket of goods to £39.14, pushing Spain into sixth place.

Paul Havenhand, head of travel at Post Office, said: “We urge cost-conscious holidaymakers to include a comparison of exchange rates for all the destinations they are considering before coming to a final decision. This is likely to make a positive difference to the overall cost of a holiday.”

He added: “At the moment sterling is stronger against three quarters of the top Post Office holiday currencies.”

Resorts are cheaper in Cyprus, Greece and Italy, the survey found, although Italy remains the most expensive destination in Europe with a basket costing around £81, twice as much as Portugal.

The basket includes items like an evening meal for two, a cup of coffee and sun cream.

Popular destinations this year are likely to include South Africa, Vietnam, Burma and Qatar, the Post Office said.

Post Office Travel Money Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer:

Story from: The Telegraphy

Best European countries: Portugal wins Readers’ Choice vote

 

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Portugal Tops With Readers

USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice contest for ‘Best European Country,’ voting was heaviest for one nominee in particular.  Portugal has apparently stolen the hearts of our readers as it secured the lion’s share of votes.

Portugal is less iconic than other well-known countries, but it offers a wealth of opportunities to travelers: charming villages, great food, fascinating regional music, cultural opportunities, a beautiful coastline and even world-class surfing.

Italy and Austria landed solid in second and third, while a mere 47 votes separated 4th place finisher Germany from Spain in 6th place.  The (very large) United Kingdom, with no language barriers for Americans and a wealth of well-known landmarks, took 5th place.

The biggest surprise? Iceland, which trumped Greece, Norway, and several other more exotic countries, to land in the top 10.

The full list of winners in the ‘Best European Country’ contest category for 10Best Readers’ Choice is as follows:

  1. PORTUGAL
  2. Italy
  3. Austria
  4. Germany
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Spain
  7. Ireland
  8. France
  9. Iceland
  10. Switzerland

Congratulations to all the winners.  Wondering where to take your next trip?  This list makes a fabulous overseas bucket list.

All nominees were chosen by experts in the Travel Industry. Thus, the other 10 nominees also deserve some consideration. They were  Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Turkey.

Story from : USA TODAY 2014

Dutch squad prepares World Cup in Lagos

 

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The Algarve is once again elected by the Dutch national football team for conducting an internship destination before a big international event, revealed the newspaper “Algemeen Dagblad”. According to the publication, the Oranje team will be in the region from the 20-27 of May, before the start of the World Cup football in Brazil.

The Algarve has many municipal and private practice fields and some of them are within hotels and resorts and provide great conditions for any sport throughout the whole year this fact makes the Algarve an usual destination stages of major European football teams during low season.

The Cascade Resort in Lagos has been chosen to host the Dutch national football team for a week-long training period before this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

The runners-up of the last edition in South Africa will be fine-tuning their tactics for the competition between May 20 and 27. And Coach Louis van Gaal will feel very much at home in the Algarve as he owns a property in Vale do Lobo.

The Netherlands will face Spain in the first game of the ‘ Worldcup 2014 ‘ on 13 June. The choice of Algarve was due, according to the newspaper”Algemeen Dagblad”, similar climate to that expected in Brazil.

It was already known that the Netherlands national team had chosen the Algarve, but only now was it announced that the Cascade’s Performance Football Academy will be its host.

Algarve tourism chief Desidério Silva had already praised the decision back in December, deeming it “excellent news” for the Algarve.

The resort is delighted, stating that “with this prestigious football team, the Cascade Resort and Performance Football Academy is closing a very successful football season.”

Since its opening in 2011, the resort has received top-class squads from all around the world, such as Zenit St. Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Spartak Moscow.

It will be the second time the Dutch squad practises for a major competition in the Algarve, after having chosen the region to prepare for the Euro 2004 held in Portugal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

World-leading car manufacturer BMW chose the Algarve to unveil its brand BMW’s hot new series.

 

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BMW chose the sunny Algarve, to bring a group of journalists to stage in the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão,  two of its newest and hottest  models: the fifth-generation M3 and the 4-series-based M4, which replaces the previous M3 coupé.

Review:

“Both of these M-cars are hysterically fast, engaging and outrageously good to drive. In other words, worthy M-successors.”

2014 BMW M3/M4 specifications

On sale: June 2014 Price: £56,175/£56,635 Engine: turbocharged, petrol, 2979cc, six-cylinder Power: 425bhp @ 5500-7300rpm Torque: 405 lb ft @ 1800-5500rpm Transmission: 7-speed M DT Fuel: 32.1mpg CO2: 204g/km Acceleration: 0-62mph, 4.1sec Top speed: 155mph

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Date of Issue: 28th Feburary 2012

Infinito Real sees high demand but warns potential buyers on the reality of finance

 November and December saw a surge of interest in Algarve property with Infinito Real, a Portugal based agent, reporting year on year booked viewing figures tripling in demand. Whilst this marked increase of interest in Portuguese real estate is welcomed, Stephen Anderson, Managing Director, has found many ‘would-be’ buyers have little knowledge of current property prices or associated finance requirements and is advising potential investors to seek expert advice before making a trip.

Economic uncertainty has inadvertently led many investors to believe that banks in countries such as Portugal will welcome lending opportunities and that securing a mortgage as a non-resident is much the same as it is in the UK.  However, non-residents applications for mortgages in Portugal are not looked upon in the same way as residents. Stephen says “More often than not, we have to manage clients’ expectations which can be quite unrealistic. We have found that many clients coming over on viewings have very little finance to put down and arrive under the premise they will be able to secure a high loan-to-value mortgage, which are in fact typically constrained to borrowers that have, and can prove, a high income. Others, arrive with some €100,000 but have way over-estimated what they will be able to purchase, expecting to find sea-front apartment for that amount.”

According to Infinito Real, compared to three years ago, property prices have reduced by approximately 40-50%, but banks have become much more stringent with their criteria. Mortgages are still available up to 80% of the purchase price, “However, the interest rate on such a high loan to value mortgage would be approximately  6.5% so this is not an easy option and in my opinion, is generally not worth considering” says Stephen.

He continues “Clients should certainly be looking to put down at least 30% to have some options here, and be able to demonstrate an income of at least £5,000 per month to be able to qualify for a 70% loan. There are a lot of factors the banks take into account now, so there is no straight forward calculation that says, if you make X then you qualify for Y.

Rates are still available at around 4% for qualifying buyers, and these are competitive rates for non-resident mortgages. Stephen advises buyers to bear in mind the majority of the rate is fixed for the entire term of the loan, making it a secure and easily predictable mortgage option.

Anderson continues: “In the cases of many of the clients who have visited us over the last couple of months looking to purchase properties either as holiday homes or buy to let investments, there are options which will enable them to make a purchase. However, some would have been in a more proceedable position if they had spoken to an expert on their finances beforehand. Regardless of how high a customer’s income, small changes such as ensuring your bank account is in the plus and has not been over drawn for the last three months can help banks look more favourable on a mortgage application. This is especially pertinent for those who are self-employed but specialist assistance can advise on the best way to appeal to the banks and avoid applications being rejected.”

ENDS

PORTUGAL PICKS UP 3 WORLD TOURISM AWARDS!

Portugal once again did well at the World Travel Awards (WTA) achieving the Best Boutique Resort and the leading airline to Africa and South America.

Vila Joya has been named the World´s Best Boutiques Resort 2011 for the the sixth consecutive year beating ocations such as Jamaica, Thailand and Fiji.

National carrier TAP Portugal received two awardws for the world´s leading airline to Africa and also South America.

Plus many national awards picked up by resorts such as The Hilton Hotel in Vilamoua, Hotel Quinta Do Lago and Sheraton Algarve Pine Cliffs Resort and nominated in many catagories.

2011 could start to erase the gloom of the last 2 years?

We think so. The start of the year has been particularly busy, with a lot more clients and buyers arriving then in years gone by.

The realisation that the world isn’t going to stop or melt down from the global crisis has helped, and Portugal property has always proven to be a great bet so it stands to reason they’d be an influx now.

Also more of the far flung countries have experienced troubles of that, which only fuels the need to by somewhere with stability not just in economic terms but it political terms also.

If you need any help with buying a property in Portugal, please take a read from our new property guide.

See the full article in the Algarve Resident here – http://www.algarveresident.com/story.asp?XID=40161