German carmaker Volkswagen is to bring around 10,000 dealers from 50 different worldwide markets plus clients and staff to the Algarve, where next month it will debut the group’s new Skoda Kodiaq.
The event will be held throughout February and March at the Algarve Congress Palace at the Herdade dos Salgados in Albufeira.
During their stay in the Algarve the car dealers will be road testing Skoda’s newest SUV, under the watchful eye of some 2,000 Skoda staff who will also be providing international training for the model.
The Algarve has been favoured in recent years for car launches, having hosted similar events by Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen.
In December 2011 German car manufacturer BMW chose the Algarve for the world launch of its new BMW 3 series, and last year, Volkswagen travelled to the region to unveil its new Tiguan model. Mercedes also held its Global Training Experience 2014 in southern Portugal.
Albufeira Mayor Carlos Silva e Sousa reflected “Albufeira is a municipality with excellent conditions to host this type of initiative. We are renowned for our know-how in welcoming visitors, for the capacity and quality of our hotels, good climate, gastronomy, stunning beaches, good accessibility and security, that is, we have all the conditions for any event to be a success.”
Mayor Sousa e Silva praised the immediate economic returns that such events bring, not only in terms of revenue and job creation but also in terms of media coverage for the region that is typically associated to the jaunts, describing the effect “multiplying and very welcome, especially at this time of year, when we are still in the middle of low season.”
Participants start to arrive in the Algarve from 22 January, according to Mário Ferreira, administrator of the NAU Hotels & Resorts group which owns Herdade dos Salgados.
He added between 10,000 and 12,000 Skoda dealers, clients and employees are expected, and that the staff will stay in the region for the two-month duration of the event.
Overall he estimates the launch will generate 15,000 overnight stays.
Last year Volkswagen also chose the Herdade dos Salgados tourism development to accommodate the thousands of participants who were invited to the Tiguan Experience 2016.