The start of the year 2021 has not brought any relief to tourism and we are not even sure  when it will recover, so news such as the one we have received, leaves us honored and strongly contributes towards regaining our strength in these difficult times which we are all facing.

This time, Dark Sky® Alqueva brought the trophy Europe’s Leading Tourist Destination 2020, from Global 100 – 2020, to Portugal. It is one more acknowledgement which contributes to strengthen Dark Sky® Alqueva, it’s territory within the Alentejo, it’s Network of Official Partners and the Dark Sky® Portugal Network. The importance of rural and nature destinations, whose working basis is based on sustainability, differentiation and innovation, had already been reinforced in 2020 but faced with the current situation, it’s role is even more fundamental for tourism’s recovery. 

We feel very honored to have received this award. The year 2020 had already been a milestone in the recognition of medium and long-term work, many times unseen but undoubtedly fundamental for the implementation of Dark Sky® Alqueva. For this reason, feeling that it continues to deserve more recognition gives us, without a doubt, the enthusiasm to continue to work with all our strength towards sustainable development. 

We reinforce our conviction that in a time when sustainable destinations are gaining ground, it is fundamental to invest in placing Portugal as a leading international Astrotourism destination, as it currently covers around 13.000,00 km2 already certified as Starlight Tourism Destination. 

The Dark Sky® Portugal Network is comprised of Dark Sky® Alqueva, the first Starlight Tourism Destination in the world and the first cross-border Starlight Tourism Destination, Dark Sky® Aldeias do Xisto and Dark Sky® Vale do Tua, certified in 2019 and 2020 respectively. 

Official link


More about the GLOBAL100 – 2020:

The Global 100, consists of the World’s leading firms and individuals, with votes received from our global readers, in over 163 countries worldwide. The purpose of the Global 100 is to provide the readership with a comprehensive understanding of those firms that are truly leaders within their chosen areas of specialisation. The Global 100 does not follow the usual process followed by many others. It follows a very specific, very comprehensive process, not commonly used elsewhere in the industry. Following the closure of the process, which follows a very strict format firms are shortlisted and selected as winners. For each category awarded a proprietary method of analysis ranks winners based on their domestic and international work. This ranking method produces a list of shortlisted firms, based on a very comprehensive set of criteria. Once all votes have been received, a panel of judges review the votes within each category. The judging process assesses the following considerations:

  • The strategic nature of work conducted. 
  • The complexity of work conducted. 
  • The scale of work conducted. 
  • Whether the work conducted was done in a timely manner, and within budget. 
  • Any ground-breaking or innovative processes used during completion of conducted work. 

The judging process focuses strongly on the complexity and strategic significance of work conducted. The above criteria underline’s the importance of the recognition each winner is receiving as a Global 100 winning organisation, firm or individual. In summary, the Global 100 program provides a benchmark of the very best of the best industry leaders, exemplary team’s and distinguished organisations.