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Portugal has established itself as the best value in Europe for US-based MICE professionals who take their clients to Europe

Portugal has established itself as the best value in Europe for US-based MICE professionals who take their clients to Europe (Forimmediaterelease.net) Today's Lisbon is home to a thriving culture of fashion, music, food, and art, while remaining a meeting point for world businesses and travelers. Its new nightclubs are some of the liveliest in Europe; its new bistros blend the pillars of Portuguese food with globally-inspired new flavors. Modern designers are bringing bold fashions and impressive new architecture to blend with the historic ambiance of the city, and new museums of contemporary art are opening.

Just recently, Lisbon got a unique museum, a testament to the historic relations between Portugal and Asia: The Oriente Museum. Housed in a renovated building overlooking the Tagus River and near Belém, The Oriente Museum will host temporary and permanent exhibits highlighting the Portuguese presence in the far east, as well as the richness of traditional Asian artifacts, making this a unique setting among Portuguese cultural venues. It has 5 meeting rooms (cap from 20 to 150 pax) and the Macau Salon (cap for 200 pax and VIP room with 210 square meters with a magnificent view over the Tagus River).

With its 21st century facilities and venues, Lisbon can entertain the most demanding clientele and satisfy any budget, especially now.

Portugal (via Lisbon) is the closest point in Europe to the US - easy to get to and easy to navigate. Blessed with a mild climate year round, an excellent range of sports awaits the active traveler. Golf is considered world class, and more courses are being added. Every corner of the country is rich with historical attractions, mixed with the luxuries of modern travel.

37 new hotels in the Lisbon region

By 2011, there will be 37 new hotels in Lisbon, Estoril, Sintra, and Óbidos. Five hotels will be located at Nations' Park, three on Avenida Almirante Reis, and two on Avenida 5 de Outubro. The region of greater Lisbon, that includes the municipalities of Sintra, Cascais, and the Oeste region, will benefit from an additional 20 hotels. After Lisbon, the region of Leiria/Fátima is the one that will see the greatest growth in its hotel infrastructure, with the construction of five four-star hotels to meet the demands of growing tourism. This increase in the number of the Lisbon region's hotels is due to the increased demand, which keeps growing annually. For example, in 2007, the Portuguese capital was host to 90 international congresses and was placed 6th among the 240 cities studied in the ICCA´s report. Lisbon’s reputation as one of the main destinations for international association meetings is solid.

Estoril is pushing ahead with a strategy to establish itself as a high-quality, multi-product tourist and meeting destination, the main objective being to attract more visitors and maintain their loyalty while increasing awareness of the region. By the end of 2008, the opening of five new 5-star hotels (Vila Itália, Oitavos, Miramar, Quinta do Barão, Vivamarinha, and Hotel do Casino), plus the extensive redecoration of three others (Cidadela, Atlântico, and Grande Hotel), accounted for 1,150 more beds, bringing the total number in the region to 9,000, of which 85 percent are in the four- and five-star categories.

Portugal’s history

Portugal is an old country, as evidenced by the fact that it has Europe's longest-standing border. Its nine centuries of history are filled with epic heroes, fierce battles, and romantic legends, and visitors can find remnants of all of this anywhere in the country.

A certain type of black and white mosaic sidewalk can only be seen in Portugal and other lands where Portuguese is spoken. Manueline architecture, a Portuguese innovation, celebrates the great sea-faring explorations and discoveries of the 15th century. Side by side with Manueline architecture, visitors will find bombastic baroque style or Gothic or medieval structures. The fight for Portugal's border is evident in the medieval, walled towns dotting the plains of the Alentejo Region. Other towns in the northern reaches are built entirely of Portuguese granite.

Each generation of Portuguese seems to have produced a great poet or two, and their verses today, as in the past, resonate with love, loss, and shipwreck. These, in turn, have come to define the Portuguese. Today, Portugal's culture is celebrated in music and art, in theater and dance, in food and wine, and in the historical monuments found throughout the country.

Portugal's many 5-star hotels represent a real value when compared to similar properties in other European nations. A full week at a 5-star hotel in Lisbon can be about the same price as just one or two nights at a luxury hotel in other European capitals. The lodging options throughout the country are varied and expanding. Travelers may find a unique, locally-owned hotel such as the Lapa Palace and Pestana Palace in Lisbon, or high end properties like the Hotel Rei Humberto Il De Italia in Cascais and the AguaPura Resort in Lamego. Brand new international companies are now offering luxury resorts in Portugal, including the Marriott Praia D'el Rey in Obidos, the Westin Camporeal Golf Resort&Spa, and Columbo's Resort, currently under construction on the island of Porto Santo.

You get more for your dollar - that's the norm when travelers discover Portugal. Add to that lower car rental rates, and by comparison, affordable prices at restaurants are considerably lower.

For more details, please contact Alexandra Baltazar at Turismo De Lisboa (+351-210-312-700) or Ilan Geva at 312-861-1300.

Ilan Geva - Main Touchpoint 340 E. Randolph St. suite 4306 Chicago, IL, 60601 USA P. 312.861.1300 C. 312.497.2233 F. 312.552.2901 W. www.ilanandfriends.com

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