Algarve and tourism

Tourism pier in old Faro. The airport is in the foreground

The tourism development of Algarve, the southernmost region of continental Portugal, began in the 1970s. This development has boosted the local economies, especially in the coastal areas, as the sun and beach model has been the norm.

The integration of the Faro airport into the low cost airlines networks has helped to increase the tourism arrivals to the area, which receives mainly by Britons, Germans and Spaniards.

The coastal landscape, with beaches and high cliffs, is interesting, and but for some limited exceptions it is less disturbed that in the Spanish Mediterranean coast. But there are also more deficits in streets and services networks; a development pattern in which urban planning is more a tool to confirm previous real estate structures than to create urban quality is equally present. Developing the area later than in Spain has allowed to learn from the experience, but the shortfalls of the public space and infrastructure (not in central cities, but on newly developed areas) and the lack of coherence of some urban projects can make this advantage short lived.

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