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Oporto to boast one of Europe’s largest ‘Welcome Centres’


A project for what will become one of Europe’s largest tourist ‘Welcome Centres’ is currently being studied and is hoped to be fully realised by the end of 2011, in Oporto’s Praça da Liberdade.

“The Welcome Centre project is being constructed in the city of Oporto, it will measure more than one thousand square metres, and will be one of the biggest in Europe”, Melchior Moreira, President of the Oporto and Northern Tourism Bureau (ERTPN) announced last week.

Speaking to Lusa News Agency, Mr. Moreira added that the tourist welcome centre should be ready by the end of 2011 and would be located by the Cardosas Palace, where the new Hotel Intercontinental is soon to open.

The Oporto Welcome Centre will adopt the same concept as the new ‘tourism shops’ that the ERTPN created to replace the old tourism offices, formerly run by the now extinct regional tourism bureaus.

“It will integrate tourist information using advanced technology, so visitors will have access to all that the region has to offer, contrary to what happens at current tourism offices”, said Melchior Moreira.

He further elaborated that, a deal is being discussed with the Casa da Música to create a tourism shop next to the famous building, to reinforce the network planned for Oporto, which would complement the Aeroporto Sá Carneiro shop, planned to open in July, as well as the ones located in the cruise terminal Leixões port.

In the northern region, the network is expected to cater to some 82 municipalities, where shops will open using investment generated from a partnership with local Town Halls, who are responsible for allocating a venue, in most cases former tourism offices.

The first tourism ‘shop’ of the Oporto and Northern region opened in January in the historic centre of Santiago de Compostela, in partnership with the Junta da Galiza Tourism bureau, with the objective of also winning over tourists from neighbouring Spain.

source: theportugalnews.com

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