For the sixth consecutive year, Parques de Sintra has won the World Travel Award for the “World’s Leading Conservation Company”. In a ceremony that took place this Saturday, 1 December, in Lisbon’s Pátio da Galé, and which was attended by competitors from all around the world, the Portuguese company was once again distinguished with this award in recognition of the effectiveness of its management of the natural and cultural values entrusted to it. This should also note how Parques de Sintra was once again the only European entity nominated in this category.
Internationally considered the “Oscars of tourism”, the World Travel Awards strive to recognise, award and celebrate excellence in every sector of the tourism industry. The awards reflect one of the most important of all distinctions for companies in the tourism sector and constitute a globally recognised brand and seal of quality. The voting is made both by the general public and by tourism professionals. For the first time, this year Lisbon hosted the grand gala simultaneously welcoming celebrations of the 25th anniversary of this event that annually brings together leading figures from across the sector.
The sixth World Travel Award picked up by Parques de Sintra is yet another contribution to reaffirming 2018 as a year of recognition for the quality of work carried out by the company in restoring and rehabilitating the parks and monuments under its management. In May, the historical reconstruction project for the Botanical Garden of Queluz had won the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2018 in the category of Conservation and Restoration before again being distinguished, in June, with the Public’s Choice award, also run by Europa Nostra 2018, an unprecedented achievement in Portugal. According to Sofia Cruz, President of the Parques de Sintra Board of Directors, “we are ranked among the best in the world in what we do and that, for the sixth consecutive year, is an honour and only serves to strengthen our conviction that the management model we have implemented, unique nationally, represents the best option for complying with our founding mission, which is to administer the valuable world heritage that has been entrusted to our responsibility, dignifying and enabling its tourism components. This provides an important incentive for continuing with our work with all the same level of demands that have earned such prestigious awards and to share this capital of knowledge that we have accumulated over the course of these years as we do believe that our method may be replicated whenever similar contexts prevail”.
Parques de Sintra is a state-owned company that does not however receive any form of regular state funding and that maintains, restores and makes available to the public the heritage under its management only through the revenues thereby generated (ticket offices, cafeterias, stores and renting out venues). Under the company’s management are: the Park and National Palace of Pena; the National Palaces of Sintra and Queluz; the Chalet of the Countess of Edla; the Moorish Castle; the Palace and Gardens of Monserrate; the Convent of Capuchos and EPAE – the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art. In 2018, these monuments and parks collectively welcomed in excess of 3 million visitors.