Traditional Products: Local Knowledge and flavours

Combining the tradition with modernity, many of the products of the region went through a certification process that ensures their genuineness and tradition of manufacturing: they are the traditional products that hold PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) certifications. These certifications have decisively contributed to the preservation, dissemination and promotion of the products and they have motivated the appearance of a small craft industry, linked to their production and marketing.

The quality and the need to maintain very high standards of control of these products reaffirm their vocation for being distributed in selected niche markets, both domestic and foreign, with high purchasing power and sensitive to tradition. This is a business opportunity to explore. Investments indicated for this area are related to the issues of increasing the production of these products (creation of production units of processed products) and strengthening the marketing component.

> Ornamental Rocks

In this region, the granite, which exists in abundance and with enough quality to justify the existence of an extractive industry, is by far the most important rock.

Besides the granite, other resources are also produced, although with less importance, some of which are unique in the country, as is the case of slate and serpentinite.

As significant strengths, we have the national tradition in what concerns the work of stone, the existence of reserves in good conditions and with no prospect of depletion in the medium term and the diversity of rocks.

Business opportunities in this area are mainly related to the placement of granite products for use in the construction, especially because of the quality of work executed in Portugal.

> Renewable Energy

After a first wave of investments more targeted for small hydroelectric power stations, Portugal has made a strong bid on the diversification of energy sources, with special interest in the renewable energy. In the Douro region, attention and interests turned to the wind farms, since the region has particularly favourable conditions for the production of this type of energy.

The wind is a clean and inexhaustible energy source. The wind farms present an almost null environmental impact, they do not contribute to the increase of gas emissions into the atmosphere that cause the “greenhouse effect”. This fact, combined with the excellent potential of the region for the production of this type of energy, validate the investment that has already been made in this particular area.

> Hospitality

As it has already been mentioned, the Douro region is a tourist destination that is surrounded by the Spanish regions of Galicia and Castile y León to the North and East; by Minho to the West and by the Douro River to the South. This region has a thermal richness, a wild beauty that captivates, seduces and involves all who visit it and the nature invites people to the practice of several sports including hunting and fishing, there are also rural villages where ancient customs are kept alive with communitarian organizational and production habits. In this region there is also a varied and rich gastronomy: the sausages, the ham, the stuffed trout, the Mirandese meat, the wild boar and the steamed hare complemented by the conventual desserts (sweet traditional Portuguese desserts based on egg yolks and sugar). These are some of the specialties that this region has to offer to all who visit it.

The analysis of these data, together with the knowledge of the strong demand that exists in the region, allows us to say that the region has the capacity to accommodate new hotel infrastructures, with an adequate qualitative offer and incorporating occupational and leisure activities, taking advantage of the varied natural and cultural resources, as well as of the landscape of the region.

> Touristic and Cultural Activities

The Douro region has a significant number of touristic resources – thermal, fluvial, ecological, heritage resources, and others-that are fundamental to the development of this sector. In terms of the river tourism in the River Douro, the thermal tourism and ecotourism have been marked by a strong demand increase in recent years.

The heritage tourism, associated with the historical, natural and architectural heritage has had a strong boost in the last decade, embodied by the appearance of Thematic Routes-the Medieval Route, the Port Wine Route and the Cistercian Wine Route and the Adventure Tourism.

In the areas referred to above, there is a wide range of investment opportunities associated to each of these identified tourist segments, particularly the creation of tourist companies for leisure activities, eco-tourism, wine tourism and river tourism.

The integration of investment opportunities in the Douro should be actively considered. The hotel offer combined with the extraordinary natural beauty and heritage and traditions very strong agro-industrial complement to create a unique offering.

> Integrated Investment

The integration of investment opportunities in the Douro region should be vigorously considered. The hotel offer available coupled with outstanding natural beauty and heritage as well as the strong agro-industrial traditions complement each other to create a unique offer.

This integration of the investment opportunities, which is not limited to the wine industry, even though it has in this area its greatest strength, will allow investors to take advantage of most of the local assets, generating a complete offer that can act on the several opportunities available.