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Decisions, Decisions...December 3, 2007 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Travel Agent
Portugal or Spain? Spain or Portugal? How about both? This newsletter gives you the latest happenings in each country.
The tourist offices of Portugal and Spain, hoping visitors will explore both countries, have teamed up to promote the Iberian peninsula as a must-see destination in Europe through PortugalSpainBoth.com. The web site highlights places to visit and things to see and do in both countries, from arts and culture to wine and food to special events.
In addition to catching the interest of consumers online, the campaign hopes to net investment from suppliers by providing access for U.S.-based tour operators and suppliers to capture bookings directly from the web site.
“This new site provides a truly engaging experience and is a major step in how we market the two destinations to the world,” said Javier Pinanes, director of the Tourist Office of Spain.
Both countries have some busy years coming up as far as tourism developments are concerned. In Portugal, 47 resort properties will debut by 2011. Fourteen resorts are planned for the Algarve region; seven in Alentejo; eight in Costa Azul; nine in Oeste region; four each in Douro and Madeira; and one in the Azores. Hoteliers involved include Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Pousadas, Almeida Hotels and Hilton. Go to www.visitportugal.com.
Over in Spain (www.spain.info), cultural events are taking center stage. Madrid’s Prado Museum recently completed a $208 million expansion and, to celebrate, is showcasing more than 100 rarely seen artworks from the 19th century. Through April 24, 2008, a collection of 95 paintings and 12 sculptures will be on display in the Prado’s new exhibition galleries. Additionally, a selection of drawings by Goya will be featured, including the artist’s “Winged Bull,” the masterpiece’s first showing since it was acquired by the museum in 2006.
Elsewhere in Spain, Bilbao is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Guggenheim Museum, and Valencia will once again host the Americas Cup regatta. (Note that if clients are interested in the Americas Cup, the 2009 event has been put on hold while legal disputes over the rules and regulations are worked out in a New York court.)
Photo: Statue of Don Alvaro de Bazan on Madrid’s Plaza de Villa by Alba N. Negron-Diaz