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Buoyant Algarve tourist numbers, but at what price?

Good figures so farThe Algarve region registered 200,000 more overnight stays than last year by the end of June, according to the ubiquitous president of Algarve Tourism, Desiderio Silva, who estimates that by the year end there will have been 800,000 more overnight stays in the region than in 2012.

This impressive second half boost will have to come largely from the much vaunted winter tourism market.

€5.4 million of new sand for Algarve's beaches

Benagil beachThe Secretary of State for the Environment has announced that the Algarve is to benefit from a spend of €5.4 million. This is for the construction of new access to three beaches and the addition of tonnes of sand.

Most of this investment, €5 million, will be spent on adding sand to the beaches of Carvoeiro, Benagil, Cova Redonda and Praia Nova (Lagoa), D. Ana (Lagos) and the Castelo and Coelha beaches in Albufeira.

Portugal's Golden Visa scheme punted in the Middle East

Luxury properties bagged by savvy foreignersInvestors from the Middle East are in the sights of Portugal’s real estate promoters and developers. After the interest shown by Chinese buyers in the Golden Visa scheme, property entrepreneurs are now looking to roll out the promotion in other wealthy countries.

A roadshow is set to roll out across the Middle East in January next year. PSO Strategic Consulting is preparing a package of about 50 properties, "mostly houses and apartments but also hotels and farms in Lisbon, the Alentejo and the Algarve."

Algarve - tourists fear political instability

Sun and sand....A majority of the tourists surveyed in Faro by the University of the Algarve said that the region was a safe destination, but admitted that they feared political instability.

The new study, ‘Analysis of the perception of safety of tourists visiting the Algarve,' captured the opinions of 1,519 Portuguese and foreign tourists between July and October this year, explained the lead researcher Maria Brás.

Toll income keeps Estradas de Portugal in the black

Estradas de PortugalEstradas de Portugal managed to stay in the black in the first half of 2013 with a net profit of €14 million, according to a trading statement issued today.

Toll revenues increased 13% over the period, raking in €108 million despite traffic volume falling, most especially on the Via do Infante where traffic is down 70% from the pre-toll days.  

‘No’ to Algarve’s outdated railway system

Algarve's creaking railwayThe debate in Parliament ran along predictable lines today as sensible proposals to upgrade the Algarve's railway line were voted down by the government.

‘No money’ was the standard response to the Green party and the Left Bloc’s attempts to remedy some of the problems in an attempt to develop a train system for the Algarve that is capable and efficient.

Ryanair goes cuddly

Pain for Ryanair Ryanair, running scared of falling sales, is to cut charges for baggage check-in and will allow a 24 hour period of grace to rectify booking errors.

Iberian lynx to roam free

Iberian Lynx, a small one anywayThe government has given the go-ahead for the reintroduction of Iberian lynx to Portugal. The lynx have been successfully bred and reared at the specialist lynx centre in Silves, and could be let loose near Moura next year.