London, UK (PRWEB UK) 25 March 2012
Usually associated with sunshine and sandy beaches amongst the foreign tourists, Portugal still has an immense potential for growth for tourism in the countryside areas. According to Economywatch, a growth of 5% a year in this market is based on the growing number of tourists attracted to the appreciation and interaction with nature, and represents 6% of GDP worldwide. A study report commissioned by the government body 'Turismo de Portugal' states that:
"There is a high consensus between Portuguese experts that for the short to medium term future, efforts should be concentrated in the Azores, Madeira, Central (mainland Portugal), Porto and the North."
'Turismo de Portugal' also indicates that 21% of Portugal's territory is formed by protected areas known as 'natural parks', which is a good standpoint for the development of an infrastructure in the surrounding areas that supports ecotourism as a form of sustainable economic resource.
It is now apparent that increasing environmental awareness is creating an ever more conscious tourist. For this new traveler, the main attractions are the opportunity to discover areas relatively unknown by the masses, and an interest in a more active way of enjoying a holiday.
The Serra da Estrela Natural Park is situated in the Central North-East of Portugal, and about an hour from the ancient university city of Coimbra. The existence of a rich fauna and flora in the area is a direct product of three rivers (The Mondego, Zezere and Alva) running through the region. Housing Portugal's highest peak, it is an area of outstanding natural beauty with glacial lakes, snow-capped mountains and rich biodiversity. It is appreciated by trekkers, skiers, equestrians and those attracted to its healing spas. Visitors to the area also help to support small hold farmers who produce creamy goat's cheese, fine cured hams and hand made leather products. Local vineyards around the river Dao produce fine reds of exceptional quality at reasonable prices.
A great way to invest in ecotourism could be the transformation of an existing 'quinta' in the foothills of a natural park by converting existing outbuildings, or constructing new from reclaimed materials.
There are two properties in the above link to show as examples of investment potential. One has the possibility to make a health spa due to the presence of a registered health spring, the other for a lodge with water sports and climbing activities. Other sites such as pureportugal or rightmoveoverseas will give the prospective buyer a wider vision of possibilities.