And the winner is…

Published on 25 October, 2017 by 1esfma

Portugal has won the World Travel Awards coveted title as “Best European Destination” for the first time in a hotly-contested contest that saw the country pitch against former winners Greece, Italy, Spain, and France, as well as northern countries including the UK, Norway, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland.

Said a delighted secretary of state for tourism Ana Mendes Godinho, the vote, which took place in St Petersburg, Russia, shows “the whole country is an incredible package worth visiting”.

The result follows “everyone’s efforts to turn Portugal into a touristic destination of excellence, with unique diversity in what it has to offer, extended across the territory”, she said – adding that winning is “a clear indication” that Portugal is “on the right track”.

This tiny country at the edge of Europe actually scooped 30% of the prizes in the competition that has become known as the “Oscars of Tourism”.

It is now Europe’s leading cruise port (Lisbon), best beach destination (Algarve), it offers the best island destination (Madeira) and has the best ‘touristic development project’ (Passadiços do Paiva, in the Arouca UNESCO Global GeoPark – devastated last year by fire, but since rebuilt).

Beyond these accolades, Portugal took another 33 “Oscars”, 13 more than it won last year.

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