“Defining Luxury in the context of the Algarve – A growing market?” That was the question we posed to our think-tank panel comprising a cross section of entrepreneurs from different areas of expertise.

The discussion evolved towards what can indeed be considered as “luxury”, and trying to define luxury products and services (and its different definitions from time to time): it is no longer associated to high prices or even to the word “luxury” (which by definition, when used, is never applicable), but rather to exclusivity concepts of products and services that are unique, exquisite and exclusive.

Some participants argued that the luxury real estate locations are no longer the ones that are nearby golf courses (which prices are decreasing due to increase of offer) but being near to other services such as international schools. It was argued as well that under real estate, per example, luxury nowadays may not be considered in having a house in a tourist resort, but rather in a secluded location without any surrounding neighbors.

At the end, all agreed that what defined luxury service or product as well is the quality and detail in its providing, and agreed that the Algarve continues to be a luxury destination as it has fantastic products and services (compared to our sister Spain), although we do not know how to promote it as well as they do.

This brainstorming lunch confronted these polemic themes and ultimately the discussion entered into other aspects regarding the difficulties in the promotion of the Algarve as luxury destination, such as Associations with short budget (or misuse of budget), the lack of the flights to Faro, and the enormous bureaucracy of local entities.

All agreed that mentalities would have to change, in order to continue to promote the Algarve as a luxury destination, and that these types of meetings are always beneficial to achieve such purpose.

The true objective of these events is to allow all the participants to express themselves openly which inevitably connects them to others “on the same wavelength”.  The role of the Chamber is to provide this conduit and facilitate bonding so that subsequent collaborations might flourish.  We believe we  achieved our expectations.

Participants included Kurt Gillig (VILA VITA Parc Resort & Spa), Miguel Sousa (Quinta do Lago, S.A.), Paulo Apolónia (Apolónia Supermercados), Paulo Fernandes (David Rosas), Daniel Henderson (Blevins Franks Financial Management), Judy Clayton (Dunas Lifestyle), Bruce Hawker and Fernando Caetano (Open Media Group), Greg Boegner (Portugal Confidential), Dietmar Goetz (Look Algarve TV), and Carmen Baptista Rosa (PLMJ Advogados SP RL).

The BPCC organizes several brainstorming think-tank lunches each year for a maximum of 18 invited participants.  Previous themes have included “How to influence consumer choice”, “Communication is more than just words and images” “What can Portugal do to help the survival rate of start-ups?” and “Ladies of Influence”

These lunches provide a convivial setting for a forum where like-minded businesspeople can explore the possibilities of developing mutually beneficial synergies.

Members wishing to be invited to future editions of these brainstorming lunches should contact Chris Barton on [email protected].  Suggestions for themes are also welcome.

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