VI EUROPEAN CONGRESS ON RURAL TOURISM
On May 29th and 30th, Cró Hotel Rural, in Rapoula do Côa, Sabugal municipality was the venue of the 6th European Congress of Rural Tourism (COETUR), which counted with 40 speakers and 200 participants.
António Robalo, president of the Municipality of Sabugal and the Aldeias Históricas de Portugal, welcomed the exchange of strategies and ideas “for an Iberian destiny” that were shared during the Congress. He also recalled that the Municipality, as well as Aldeias Históricas de Portugal, advocate a joint promotion with Spain, so as to better promote our tourism offer, concluding that we are ready to achieve this Iberian destination together.
Pedro Machado, president of Tourism of the Center of Portugal, recalled that “time and silence are the new luxuries of today and it is in the countryside that we are able to find these luxuries”.
The Secretary of State for the Appreciation of the Countryside, João Paulo Catarino, also present at the official inauguration of COETUR, highlighted the importance of cooperation between Portugal and Spain “for the promotion of tourism in our border territories and the need for the supply to be structured in a network, with direct intervention of the local agents, so that it may bring value to the territory.”
Under the motto ‘Iberian Destination, rural tourism without borders’, we highlight the excellence of communications of the event, which sought to be the meeting and debating place for the sector, addressing issues such as current and future challenges, with the purpose of approaching points of view beyond the geographical boundaries between the territories.
During two days of discussions, the authenticity, the preservation of the natural heritage and its surroundings, the calm and tranquillity of the countryside were highlighted in several panels.
Fernanda Esteves, president of the Town Council of Sortelha, in the margin of the debates, in an interview with EFE, pointed out that “our advantage, concerning the coastal and urban areas, is that we offer calm, peace and tranquillity, as well as the beauty of our historical heritage “.
Ana Mendes Godinho, Secretary of State for Tourism, was present at the closing session of COETUR 2019, welcoming the event, which took place for the first time in Portugal. Above all she highlighted the themes on which the debates of the Congress, ‘Iberian destiny, rural tourism without borders’, were held, considering this discussion is of the utmost importance. In fact, Ana Mendes Godinho highlighted the importance of a joint promotion of the Portuguese and Spanish destinations, as a unique and differentiated Iberian product, capable of capturing new markets, particularly at a global level. She also pointed out that Portugal and Spain have an unequalled offer in rural tourism, and that this should be increasingly promoted as the flag of an Iberian destination.
More photos here