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2005 World Cup going to Portugal

The 27 th November 2004 saw the Portuguese National Tourist Office (PNTO) hold their 35 th Annual Portugal Lunch at the ABTA Convention in Orlando , Florida . The event was attended by 83 representatives from the travel industry including representatives from the PNTO, airlines, tour operator partners and key opinion leaders in the travel field.

Following the highly successful European Football Championships in 2004, the PNTO capitalised on the travel trade presence to announce that the country will be hosting the 2005 Algarve World Cup in Portugal . An important coup for the country, the World Cup will be held in the Algarve from 17-20 November 2005 and will bring representatives from over 25 nations to the Vilamoura Victoria Clube de Golfe (the newest course at the Vilamoura complex) to compete for the $5 million prize fund- the largest amount of prize money in golfing history.

The World Cup is part of the World Golf Championships (WGC), consisting of the American Express Championship, NEC Invitational, Accenture Match Play Championship and the World Cup . The WGC were created in 1996 by golf's five leading professional tours , the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Southern Africa Tour, to develop a series new international events beginning in 1999 - the most important being the World Cup. The competitions are played annually across each of the six continents, gaining more than 60 hours of television coverage in more than 140 countries.

Highlighting their commitment to golf tourism and to hosting high profile sporting events, the Portuguese Tourist Board has committed €12.5 million towards a two year promotional plan. This will see €2.25 million invested in advertising alone, ensuring that Portugal is highlighted as an exciting golfing destination and remains at the forefront of consumers' minds.

Portugal is a veritable Golfer's paradise with over 60 golf courses throughout the country to suit every taste and ability, including 27 in the Algarve , 16 in the Lisbon region, 3 in Madeira and 3 in the Azores ; it is no surprise that Portugal is considered one of the most popular golf destinations in Europe . Furthermore, with a host of new flight connections including amongst others, the new Ryanair route from London Stansted to Porto and Easyjet's new Newcastle to Faro service, Portugal is now more accessible than ever before. Renown for the excellent quality of its courses, superb customer service and great value for money, Portugal also benefits from a beautiful warm climate which makes the country a year-round golfing destination.

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