Portugal crowned world’s best golf destination, adding to its property appeal

Portugal has been awarded the title of World’s Best Golf Destination at the first ever World Golf Awards, hosted in November at the Conrad Algarve.

A global initiative to recognise and celebrate excellence in the golf hospitality industry, the Awards also saw Quinta do Lago’s newly renovated North Course crowned Europe’s Best New Golf Course.

In the country specific category, Quinto do Lago’s South Course was named Portugal’s best golf course and Vidago Palace, in the north near Porto, as its best golf hotel. This collection of awards make Portugal especially appealing to anyone looking for a golf property somewhere sunny, and is encouraging for existing owners of Portuguese property.

Elsewhere, St Andrews Links – Old Course was recognised as the World’s Best Golf Course, while The Els Club Teluk Datai was awarded the honour of World’s Best New Golf Course.

The presentation of the awards, at a gala dinner hosted by renowned sports journalist Steve Rider, was the centrepiece of a three-day itinerary for the event, which saw guests enjoy some of the world-class facilities on offer at the famous Quinta do Lago Resort. Everything from a chauffeur driven airport pick-up, to a full 18-holes of golf on both the Friday and Saturday was on offer.

Among the highlights was a chance to play on the newly renovated Quinta do Lago North Course – a challenge for golfers of all standards set in a natural woodland setting of pine, gorse, heather and wild flowers.

Generating sustained media interest, Destination Golf Travel joined International New York Times, Bloomburg Businessweek, and CNBC in partnering with the event.

2014 hike in tourists to Portugal driven by British holidaymakers

The UK is spearheading a surge in tourist numbers to Portugal, proving that the Algarve remains a firm favourite with British holidaymakers, as well as owners of Portuguese property.

According to the president of the Portuguese Tourist Board, British visitors to Portugal grew by 15 per cent year-on-year between January and August 2014, reaching 142,000 visitors. Overall, foreign visitors for this period increased by 12 per cent year-on-year. It’s not only the Algarve that draws people to Portugal – Lisbon saw a 25 per cent rise in international visitors.

The Portuguese Tourist Board believes much of this growth is thanks to a shift in its marketing strategy, namely to move most of it on-line. Either way, it is good news for homeowners who let property in the Algarve – more interest in the regions should secure more holidaymakers who rent property.

This encouraging news signals a bumper year ahead for Portugal in terms of tourism, helped by no less than 600 new flights planned to the country throughout 2015. These include 350 new services from British Airways – mainly to the Algarve, Madeira and the north of Portugal – as well as easyJet, Norwegian, Flybe and Thomson.

Meanwhile, national carrier TAP Portugal announced at the recent World Travel Market exhibition that it is increasing the frequency of its Lisbon service from the UK next year. From summer 2015, TAP will operate 10 flights a week each from Manchester and London Gatwick to Lisbon.

TAP will also launch four new destinations in South and Central America, namely Manaus and Belém in Brazil, Bogota in Colombia and Panama City.