Portugal leases empty monasteries, forts to boost tourism

The star-shaped walls of the hilltop town of Elvas dominate the plains of Portugal's southern Alentejo region near the border with Spain. But despite being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012, Elvas receives few visitors aside from the occasional Spanish day-tripper. To try to change this, Portugal's second largest hotel group, Vila Gale, is spending around five million euros ($6 million) to convert a former convent into a luxury hotel. Dozens of builders are working on the 17th-century whitewashed building, last used as a military court, to transform it into an 80-room, four-star hotel that is set to open next year. "We are convinced that with a quality hotel, ...Keep on reading: Portugal leases empty monasteries, forts to boost tourism

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