Médio Tejo bets on the creation of a Templar Route

The Knights Templar heritage is very much present in the Médio Tejo region, and its story needs to be told. Nowadays, and because we see that tourists are increasingly educated, digital, and eager for unique experiences, it is important that this story reaches the various audiences in an innovative, attractive way. It is with this motto that the Intermunicipal Community of the Médio Tejo intends to create, together with its municipalities, the Route of the Knights Templar in the Médio Tejo.

The project envisages the creation of a route anchored on the topic of the Knights Templar, for which the core partners are the municipalities of Ferreira do Zêzere, Tomar, and Vila Nova da Barquinha.

However, in addition to these three municipalities, this route will also cover the municipalities of Abrantes, Ourém, Torres Novas, and Sertã, which are referenced by the National Military Tourism Association, considering their historical, cultural, and military relevance.

With this Route, the Intermunicipal Community intends to expand its tourist offer in the territory, and create various arguments by structuring this product, with the aim of creating added value in order to contribute to longer average stays, while also increasing the attractiveness of the Médio Tejo region as a response to new types of demand generated during the pandemic, with tendencies for becomingincreasingly conscious, while looking for places close to nature, with lower population density.

In order to structure this route, in 2020, the Intermunicipal Community of the Médio Tejo awarded the contract for the provision of specialized consultancy services to support the study, design, and structure of the Route of the Knights Templar in the Médio Tejo Region. There is already some work underway to contract services for historic validation and development of narratives that will work as the basis for the various communication tools dedicated to this route.

The intention is for this route to become a new tourism product to enhance the value of the presence of the Knights Templars in the region and in Portugal, namely by resorting to technological tools that may enhance visitor experience, as well as through offline and online communication tools that will promote this heritage and the region itself among visitors and tourists.

This route is the result of the application made by the Intermunicipal Community of the Médio Tejo, which was approved under the Support Facility for Tourism Enhancement in the InnerCountry, promoted by Tourism of Portugal, and is part of the intermunicipal project ‘Asserting the Territory of the Médio Tejo,’ provided for in the Plan and Budget Options for 2021 of this Intermunicipal Community.

Anabela Freitas, Chair of the Intermunicipal Community of the Médio Tejo, considers that through this route it will be possible to “enhance the value of the territory, preserve and enjoy the historical and cultural heritage, and boost the local economy.” She further adds that it will be possible to “promote tourism for all in an inclusive way, welcoming different markets and tourism segments, and where networking between and joint promotion by the municipalities of the Médio Tejo will be constant factor.”

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