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It is a question asked by millions of people around the world every year. “Where should I retire?” The answer depends on a vast and diverse array of individual personal, demographic, lifestyle and economic factors – all of which were taken into account when International Living compiled its 2020 retirement index. Not surprisingly, considering its… Read more about Portugal Ranked Top Place in the World to Retire The post Portugal Ranked Top Place in the World to Retire appeared first...
It is a question asked by millions of people around the world every year. “Where should I retire?” The answer depends on a vast and diverse array of individual personal, demographic, lifestyle and economic factors – all of which were taken into account when International Living compiled its 2020 retirement index.
Not surprisingly, considering its longstanding popularity with expat residents and regular tourists, Portugal topped the index, which rated such key aspects as the cost of healthcare, how simple it is to obtain a visa and own property, convenient access to entertainment, and the ease of integrating into the local community.
The top-10, in order following Portugal, were: Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Malaysia, Spain, France and Vietnam.
Portugal correspondent Tricia Pimental was tasked with explaining the main reasons why Portugal held down top sport. “From north to south,” she wrote, “from the Atlantic west to the Spanish east, this country’s gracious people, bustling capital, brilliant sun, tantalising beaches and verdant valleys are more appealing than ever to a growing number of people.
“Steeped in history and culture, it has a pleasant climate year-round in most regions, as well as an extremely affordable cost of living. Whether you are looking for surfing beaches or ancient ruins, fine museums or hiking paths, a place to windsurf or to polish your golf game, you will find it in Portugal.”
International Living’s own report on the results noted that Portugal was the second least expensive country in Europe (after Bulgaria) and in another survey, the 2019 Global Peace Index, had been rated the third-safest country in the world.
According to International Living, a huge amount of data is analysed to compile the index. “It’s a distillation of every pertinent and measurable fact our scouts and experts can lay their hands on. And it reêects the experience of every expat who has contributed to International Living since the publication of our first issue, 41 years ago.
“At its heart lies the good judgement of our far-fung editors and correspondents. We didn’t create this Index for it to be a purely objective resource. Yes, it is built on hard facts. But its power – its utility – lies in what we recommend you do with them. In other words, we bring our team’s good judgement to bear on the question: Where should I go? We share with you their measured opinions and recommendations. We don’t just tell you what the situation is on the ground – we help you figure out what it means for you.
“Having moved overseas and immersed themselves in the destinations where they live and learned their lessons the hard way, our experts are ideally placed to compare, contrast, and bring nuanced insight to the most appealing retirement destinations in the world.”
Click here to discover top places in the Algarve to enjoy your retirement.
Tourists are being urged to return for an even better holiday experience in the Algarve after the coronavirus restrictions are lifted. The online campaign by the Algarve Tourism Board is aimed at Portuguese nationals, but could also apply to international visitors. The board stresses that people should stay home during the current State of Emergency… Read more about Message to Tourists: Be Cautious but Maintain Your Dreams of a Memorable Algarve Holiday The post Message to Tourists:...
Tourists are being urged to return for an even better holiday experience in the Algarve after the coronavirus restrictions are lifted. The online campaign by the Algarve Tourism Board is aimed at Portuguese nationals, but could also apply to international visitors.
The board stresses that people should stay home during the current State of Emergency and lockdown, but return later to enjoy their delayed holidays in the popular holiday hotspot.
Promoted in a video message on social media narrated by Algarve actor João de Brito, the campaign calls on tourists to, “Postpone your holidays but not your heart. After all, the Algarve will always be here.”
Explaining the objective behind the campaign (“Lembra-te de mim. Algarve” or “Remember me. Algarve”), board president João Fernandes said, “We wanted to encourage the Portuguese to stay home, be safe and postpone their holidays during this delicate moment, as the Algarve and the Algarvians will still be here to welcome them with open arms when this is all over.”
In the meantime, the national government is providing economic support to businesses and companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as the industry looks ahead to what it hopes will be a prompt return to tourist activity post COVID-19, albeit gradual and most likely at reduced levels until 2021.
Before the crisis, international operators such as Wyndham Grand had already shown their confidence in the region’s future with major investment commitments.
Described as the “world’s largest hotel franchising company, with over 9,200 hotels in more than 80 countries”, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts officially announced in February that it had expanded its global network with the opening of Wyndham Grand Algarve in the Quinta do Lago leisure and golf resort.
“This stunning location in the Algarve is the perfect spot to introduce our iconic brand to Portugal,” said company president and managing director Dimitris Manikis. “We are thrilled to have expanded our upper-upscale offering for our guests travelling across EMEA. From Georgia to Greece, Turkey and now Portugal, we now have even more options to suit our traveller’s needs, combining one-of-a-kind experience with accessible luxury.”
Added Helder Santos, CEO of Dynamic Hotels, “We are excited about our collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and to introduce the Wyndham Grand brand to Portugal. The demand for quality accommodation and meeting space in the Algarve is continuing to grow, and working with the world’s largest hotel franchising company will further strengthen our position in the market and help us attract even more international guests.”
Wyndham Grand Algarve is located in the heart of the Ria Formosa Natural Park and within walking distance of Quinta do Lago beach. It comprises 132 one or two-bedroom suites, luxury amenities, multiple dining options, and a full-service spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre, indoor and outdoor pool, and children’s clubs. Six top golf courses are nearby, as well as Quinta do Lago’s sports campus.
Just 25 minutes from Faro Airport, Wyndham Grand Algarve offers VIP transfers for international and other guests.
For more information about other hotel options in the Algarve, click here.
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The coronavirus crisis has prompted Portugal’s tourism authorities to adapt their promotional campaign to the rapidly changing times. One of the first initiatives – as the country maintains a “State of Emergency” – has been to change the national tourism board’s marketing message for the destination from #CantSkipPortugal to #CantSkipHope. The message coincides with a… Read more about Positive New Marketing Message #CantSkipHope by Portuguese Tourism Board The post Positive...
The coronavirus crisis has prompted Portugal’s tourism authorities to adapt their promotional campaign to the rapidly changing times. One of the first initiatives – as the country maintains a “State of Emergency” – has been to change the national tourism board’s marketing message for the destination from #CantSkipPortugal to #CantSkipHope.
The message coincides with a video on the board’s social media channels noting “it’s time to stop”, accompanied by images from around Portugal.
The aim is to provide a message of hope for all, adjusted to the current crisis situation, and to show tourists, tourism professionals and Portuguese citizens that it is time “to pause, refocus and join efforts so that we can move forward”.
It is a message to the world, said the board, through a film with images that “reflect the best of Portugal, the landscapes, the moments, the people and the monuments, reminding people what awaits us if we all know to wait”.
According to Portuguese Tourism Board president Luís Araújo, “Above all, we would like this film to serve as an inspiration for a broader reflection and also be an example of a country’s effort to raise awareness and unite everyone to overcome this difficult moment in human history.”
The video was conceived and produced by teams working from home, featuring recent archive footage from the Portugal Tourism Board and a voiceover using a smartphone.
When the crisis is over, the Algarve region will remain one of the most popular destinations in Europe for returning tourists – not only for its “landscapes, moments, people and monuments” but also for a diverse and extensive array of leisure amenities.
This was highlighted at the 2020 Publituris Portugal Trade Awards this month in Lisbon, where the region picked up three prizes: Zoomarine as “Best Theme Park”, Vilamoura Marina the “Best Marina” and Vilamoura’s Centro de Congressos do Algarve named “Best Congress Centre”. In all, the Algarve had 14 nominations.
Organised by tourism newspaper Publituris, the awards are held every year with the aim of distinguishing excellence in tourism.
It was the 10th consecutive year that Vilamoura Marina had received the award, while Zoomarine is also a regular winner, and Centro de Congressos do Algarve was honoured for the first time.
In a press statement, the Vilamoura marina said, “The distinction recognises the high level of client satisfaction, as well as the quality of nautical services and facilities provided. The award follows on from the consecutive 2019 and 2020 recognition as ‘International Marina Of The Year’ by the Yacht Harbour Association.”
Other award winners:
For more information about what to do in the Algarve click here.
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Portugal’s ANA, which operates 10 airports in the country (including Faro), has reassured passengers that it is taking key measures to minimise the impact of COVID-19. In a message to airline travellers, the Aeroportos de Portugal operator stressed it was prioritising the safety of workers and passengers. “Our airports are in permanent contact with the… Read more about Portuguese Airport Operator Urges Calm… as British Embassy Updates Travel Advice The post Portuguese Airport...
Portugal’s ANA, which operates 10 airports in the country (including Faro), has reassured passengers that it is taking key measures to minimise the impact of COVID-19. In a message to airline travellers, the Aeroportos de Portugal operator stressed it was prioritising the safety of workers and passengers.
“Our airports are in permanent contact with the authorities, complying with government guidelines, and our teams operate in accordance with the safety standards indicated by Portugal’s Directorate-General of Health (DGS).
“We have taken a series of measures in order to mitigate this threat. In view of this difficult moment, we urge our passengers to remain calm, guaranteeing, on our part, permanent surveillance and updated information. We emphasise the importance of reducing visits to airports to what is strictly necessary and only by passengers, in order to avoid crowds in the terminal.”
In addition to a campaign launched to raise individual awareness and strengthen hygiene recommendations, these security measures include:
As for flight restrictions, all air connections with Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic are suspended, as well as all international flights out of the European Union and from outside the European Union to any national airport.
These exclude non-EU countries with a strong presence of Portuguese communities, such as Canada, the United States and South Africa; and Portuguese-speaking countries (except Cape Verde, Angola and Guinea Bissau).
For Brazil, the Lisbon-Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon-Sao Paulo routes are restricted, and all routes to other destinations in Brazil are suspended. Additionally, several other flights are subject to change or cancellation.
Meanwhile, the British Embassy’s updated advice, available here, stresses Foreign & Commonwealth Office recommendations that British nationals should avoid all but essential international travel, as “any country or area may restrict travel without notice”.
“Portugal declared a State of Emergency on 18 March, which has activated a series of measures including significant restrictions on movement throughout the country.
“If you are currently in Portugal, follow the advice of local authorities. If you wish to return to the UK, make travel plans to do so as soon as possible.” The British Embassy in Lisbon is issuing regular updates on Twitter and Facebook with the latest available information on flight departure options for British nationals wanting to leave Portugal. Anyone planning to travel to Portugal is advised to consult their airline or tour operator.”
Regarding borders and travel, according to the embassy, flights to the UK are not affected by measures implemented for most other countries outside the EU/EEA, but airlines have cancelled several flights between the UK and Portugal.
From 16 March until 15 April, border controls are in place on land bordering Spain – including the Algarve. “Cross-border workers, goods traffic and people entering or leaving Portugal to return to their place of residence will be allowed to travel. British nationals can still drive through Spain and France to return to the UK. While driving through France, they will need to complete an ‘attestation’ (declaration) specifying the reason for being outside.”
Public gatherings are banned, and most shops other than those selling food or other essential items such as pharmacies are closed. All citizens have been instructed to remain at home unless they need to carry out one of the following activities:
In addition, public transport services are operating at reduced levels.
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Portugal is set to take its fight against the coronavirus pandemic to a new level, moving from a State of Alert to a State of Emergency. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced after a meeting of the State Council today that a State of Emergency would be decreed, and prime minister António Costa subsequently announced… Read more about Portuguese President Declares State of Emergency in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic The post Portuguese President Declares State of Emergency in...
Portugal is set to take its fight against the coronavirus pandemic to a new level, moving from a State of Alert to a State of Emergency.
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced after a meeting of the State Council today that a State of Emergency would be decreed, and prime minister António Costa subsequently announced that the government supported the decision.
The move, following the declaration of a State of Alert last week, would suspend and/or restrict some constitutional rights and liberties, including the right to free movement.
Rebelo de Sousa, who earlier this month decided voluntarily to self-isolate for two weeks after learning that a student who attended an official event in the Palácio Nacional de Belém had been hospitalised, has State of Emergency authority under Article 138 of the Portuguese republic’s constitution. However, he is required to take into consideration the government’s view and request authorisation from the parliamentary Assembly – which is currently debating the draft decree.
The president argued that the declaration was “indispensable” to provide constitutional coverage for more comprehensive measures. While noting that major containment measures had already been adopted and enacted under the State of Alert, he said stronger powers were now required, as was the case in other European countries.
One of the key elements of the 15-day State of Emergency allows for possible compulsory confinement of citizens at home or in a health facility, and restrictions on unjustified circulation on public roads. Justified travel includes that considered necessary for professional activities or health care, or to assist third parties by supplying goods or services.
Restrictions can be imposed by the relevant public authorities to reduce the risk of contagion and implement prevention measures, and the government has the power to specify the circumstances and purposes of individual movement – ideally unaccompanied.
According to the draft decree, public authorities (in accordance with National Health Authority guidelines) may request the provision of any services, as well as the use of movable and immovable property, health care facilities, commercial and industrial establishments, companies and other production units.
The State can also determine the mandatory opening, or closure, and operation of companies, establishments and means of production; and limit or prohibit meetings or demonstrations due to the risks of COVID-19 being transmitted.
According to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), 448 cases of COVID-19 infection were confirmed on Tuesday, a rise of more than 100 in 24 hours. The first confirmed death in Portugal, on Monday, was 80-year-old Mário Veríssimo, who reportedly suffered from lung disease and died at the Santa Maria Hospital in Lisbon.
In all, 206 patients have been admitted to hospital, 17 in critical condition; there are 4,030 suspected cases; and 6,852 people are under surveillance by health authorities. The number of cases is reported to be higher in the northern region (196) followed by Lisbon and Vale do Tejo (180), the central area (51) and the Algarve (14).
Minister for health Marta Temido said Portugal had moved from the contention stage to the “exponential growth phase of the epidemic,” aligned with the situation in other European countries.
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Portugal has remained relatively unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak compared with other countries. Nevertheless, authorities remain cautious and are prepared to activate emergency measures and systems to deal with any health issues that might arise. Throughout Portugal, latest reports indicate a total of 30 cases, most in the north and around Lisbon, although a first… Read more about Coronavirus Impact Minimal in the Algarve… but Authorities Remain Vigilant The post Coronavirus...
Portugal has remained relatively unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak compared with other countries. Nevertheless, authorities remain cautious and are prepared to activate emergency measures and systems to deal with any health issues that might arise.
Throughout Portugal, latest reports indicate a total of 30 cases, most in the north and around Lisbon, although a first case was reportedly detected in the Algarve region over the weekend.
The main news has centred on the Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who decided voluntarily to self-isolate for two weeks after learning that a student who attended an official event in the Palácio Nacional de Belém had subsequently been hospitalised.
An official statement from the presidency noted, “At the end of the event, photos were taken with students and teachers and he congratulated them one by one. Despite not showing any viral symptoms, the president has decided to cancel all his public activities, which included events with a large number of Portuguese.”
Meanwhile, the Algarve Regional Tourism Board and Algarve Regional Health Administration released a statement regarding COVID-19 in the region, before reports of the possible first case became known.
“Although no case of people infected with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Algarve has been confirmed, until 1 pm on Friday 6 March, and the degree of risk is constantly being assessed by the competent authorities, the Algarve Regional Health Administration (ARS Algarve) and the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA) have been following the evolution of this phenomenon closely, following the guidelines of the Directorate-General for Health.
“Thus, the presidents of RTA, João Fernandes, and ARS Algarve, Paulo Morgado, considered it essential to meet with associations representing the tourism sector to inform about the evolution of the epidemic, clarify the available health responses and establish prevention procedures and infection control in companies.
“Public and private entities have a fundamental role to play in protecting the health and safety of residents and visitors, so close cooperation between the State and companies is crucial in limiting any negative impacts on society and the economy.
“In this sense, the contributions of these associations were collected on the main concerns and needs identified with the respective associates, and the degree of implementation of the contingency plans at company level was also assessed. Likewise, the president of ARS Algarve made himself available to carry out a training course for hotel directors on COVID-19, which should happen soon.”
In conclusion, the statement stressed, “For the Algarve it is essential to ensure that the sector contributes to the containment of COVID-19, in order to guarantee security and minimise the current and future impact on the regional tourism operation.”
For the moment, there have been no reports of major changes to operations at Faro’s international airport, although last week the national carrier TAP announced plans to cancel some flights in Portugal due to decreasing demand.
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