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Popular holiday destination Lagos in Portugal´s Algarve region ranked number one on’s list of ‘15 Great Cities to discover in 2012’.
Any rise in tourism could help drive demand for rental homes in Lagos, which in turn should appeal to buy-to-let investors looking to buy property in Portugal.
The latest RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey shows that the lettings market in Portugal is benefitting from a weak sales market, with tenant demand growing.
Lettings expectations recorded a significant rise in December 2011 and remains firmly in positive territory. Rental expectations are generally most popular in the Algarve where lettings activity is among the highest nationwide.
As far as Lagos is concerned, tourists and holiday homeowners are attracted to its friendly locals, superb beaches, modern marina and eclectic nightlife. It has long been a very popular holiday destination, whether it is a fun packed family holiday, a golfing break with some buddies or just a relaxing, cultural break, the region has a long rental season.
With the opening of the A22 motorway, Lagos is only a 50 minute drive from Faro airport so more tourists are travelling further west for their holidays to the Algarve.
Property developments in Lagos are generally really popular and attract a lot of foreign buyers, particularly Brits.

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Tourists and the editors of the largest travel site in the world advise taking a holiday in Lagos, the fun western Algarve city has earned itself first place on their list of "15 top holiday destinations"(12-01-12).
TripAdvisor used its networking reader-travellers to come up with a list of their top 15 growing destinations worldwide.
"The heritage and history of the city and its beaches and the lively bars," puts Lagos ahead of renowned destinations in Asian, South American, South African and Europe, beating cities such as Hua Hin (Thailand), Tallinn (Estonia), Moscow (Russia) and Bucharest (Romania), which are all in the top five.
The opening of the last stretch of trans-Algarvean motorway from Alcantarilha,west to Lagos ten years ago had a marked influence as the fun, and now accessible tourist destination started to fill up.
Journey times from Faro airport had been cut noticeably and for those holidaying in
Lagos the Atlantic west coast became accessible for day trips. Nearby Golf course developments such as Boa Vista and Parque da Floresta settled into a leafy maturity that drew tourists from the traditional central Algarve resorts of Vilamoura and Albufeira. The development of the marina area in Lagos helped put it on the international map for beach fun and plenty of nearby restaurants and nightlife.

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The bad news this week for golf tourism is the decision from the Portuguese government to increase the VAT from 6% to 23% on all golf green fees.
Being a major golf destination this decision is going to devastate the tourist market for many years to come. 
Since the start of the recession in late 2008 business has been difficult for many in the Portuguese travel industry, but in 2011 there has been an encouraging upturn with many clients returning from Spain, Turkey and other overseas golf destinations to play again in Portugal.
I am reliably informed that all golf courses were “advised” at the beginning of 2011 that they should charge 23% VAT on their green fees, but as this was never made official, only 6% was charged.
Courses have now been told that they all owe an extra 17% VAT on all the green fees sold during 2011.
Many of the smaller courses on the Algarve will probably have no funds to repay this shortfall and will have no alternative but to close, leaving the courses that survive increasing their fees to pay this backlog of VAT.
Hats off to the government for at least trying to reduce their EU debt, but with decisions like this I hope they will not be too surprised to find many golf courses closed, green fees that no one can afford, and hotels and other accommodation closed down during the buoyant winter golfing months, leaving many thousands without a job.
I can only assume that no one in the Portuguese government has any concept of how important the golf industry is to the economy of the country.

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