From Tourism to Residential Flow: The Case of Algarve (Portugal)

Special Report: Varia 2006‒Research Report
By Nacima Baron-Yellès

Algarve is one of the best-known places in the Mediterranean basin for retirement. The low price of housing (at least compared with usual prices on the Spanish coast), the availability of newly urbanized land and previous holiday experience encourage the relocalization under the sun of, especially, British elderly people. As well as implementing a disruptive land policy, local authorities enhance the accessibility of the region, reinforcing and interconnecting air and road networks to facilitate all forms of mobility between Algarve and Great Britain: short breaks and holidays, summer vacancies and permanent residence.
Is this trend really leading to a strategical shift from a tourism policy to an immigration policy and what are the consequences? The articles gives a few answers to those questions, showing first the crisis of mass tourism, then the structure of British residential migration to Algarve, and then the economical and political responses of the public authorities and private, especially real-estate, companies, in the Algarve region.

Go to the article on