It is called Best of Club – Porto, and aims sharing knowledge and ease communication, trust, and cooperation among wine tourism economic operators in Douro, Porto and Vinho Verde regions. By launching this project, the Municipality of Porto demonstrates, according to the mayor, that is committed “to promoting our tourism, gastronomy, wine, heritage, our rurality, our interior, what is blood related to us: the river (Douro) that symbolizes all of these”.
“We will keep on insisting that these assets must be enhanced”, stated Rui Moreira, during the official launch of the project, on Thursday, in the gardens of Casa Tait. “We need to transform this into an ecosystem. Create better conditions for those in the sector, to accommodate the flow of tourism and manage the difficult balance between the desire of having tourists and a population who would like to have a tourism economy without tourists”, he highlighted.
For the Mayor of Porto, “this is a project to be continued”, but success “does not depend on the effort of our tourism region, of the mayors, nor the city halls. It depends on a common will”. “We want to be a different city, a different region”, he added.
“We want to create new stories”.
Present at the ceremony, the councilwoman for Tourism and Internationalization recalled that Best of Club – Porto is part of the municipal strategic plan "Visão de Futuro para a Sustentabilidade do destino Porto". “Wine tourism emerges as one of the cornerstones, not only in promoting the city’s offer, but also in the important connection with the Douro and Vinhos Verdes wine regions”, highlighted Catarina Santos Cunha.
“With this, we want to create new stories, routes and experiences that value the city’s historic and authentic relationship with wine, as well as to increase the average stay at the destination, creating development and competitiveness for the entire region”, she stood out.
Best Of Club – Porto is composed of wine tourism agents distinguished with a Best of Wine Tourism award, in the last three years, a distinction given annually, by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network. A non-profit organization, founded in 1999 and, currently formed by 12 cities, that share a fundamental economic and cultural heritage: their internationally recognized wine regions. Porto is one of the founding fathers and represents, in this network, the Douro and Vinhos Verdes wine regions.
According to the Great Wine Capitals managing director, Catherine Leparmentier, who was also present at the launch of the Best of Club – Porto, “at this club, winners can only stay for four years. If they want to stay longer they have to compete again.