Branding a destination: facts and myths!
Usually described as the place “where nature and sea join to meet history”, Sagres was the stage from where Portuguese navigators went to discover the world! Henry, the 15th century Portuguese adventurer prince, had the dream of discovering what’s beyond the blue vast sea. With this dream in his mind, and empowered by a adventurous vision of entrepreneurship, Henry the Prince founded a small town in the south of Portugal, nowadays called Sagres, where he studied topics related to techniques of navigation and funded and stimulated the building of special boats, the caravels (light sailing ships).
With the support of the Church and surrounded by a legion of men that where influenced by the enthusiasm of the Prince, in the 15th century, Sagres was the location which supported this auspicious adventure.
Till today, Sagres is embodied with a mystic atmosphere which is still visible in the heritage site and monuments, as well as in its unspoilt landscape. The town’s website describes Sagres as “a place of memory, where nature, the sacred and man «gave birth» to religious cults and historic and tourism myths”. Prince Henry is the hallmark of this small region in the Algarve, one of the main tourism destinations in Portugal.
Considering that a core objective of tourism places is to offer the best conditions for tourists to have great and memorable experiences, Sagres is a meaningful stage of human history, still lost in the past and yet claiming for its right to the future. Local authorities in charge of managing the place are challenged to build this particular tourism destination as a brand. And as such, it should develop around Prince Henry and the Portuguese Discoveries’ narratives, myths, and stories.
The chief objective of this research is to discuss the appropriate narrative or myth on which to develop a brand strategy to Sagres as a tourism destination in Algarve, Portugal.
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