24 to 26 February 2017 Sao Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal

International Conference: Garden Tourism in Portugal and around the World


About the event

The event aims to reflect on the place and role of historic gardens within cultural tourism, hosting a program that focuses on scientific research and the exploration of communication and mediation tools, in order to improve the experience of visiting the gardens. Similarly, the event will discuss this field of study, in order to direct the project in accordance with the most current guidelines, consolidating scientific networks in this area. It also seeks to envision the role of public authorities, owners and caretakers of these spaces toward their preservation, rehabilitation and recovery.

key themes

1. Gardens in the context of Cultural Tourism
2. Scientific research on garden conservation and environmental sustainability
3. Evaluation goals within UNESCO for Historical Gardens
4. Tourism as a vehicle for the conservation of gardens and cultural landscapes
5. Garden conservation and protection versus tourism exploration
6. Management and tourism marketing of gardens
7. Understanding the relationship between the scientific community, the public and private stakeholders
8. Representations of local identity through the lens of garden tourism
9. The relationship between cultural sustainable tourism and local development


Alberta Campitelli
Cristina Castel Branco
David Jacques
Didier Wirth
Elsa Isidro
Eduarda Paz
Marco Martella
Marta Sousa Pires
Monica Luengo
Raimundo Quintal
Richard Benfield




Meet the speakers of the symposium

Alberta Campitelli is an art historian and teacher gardens of LUISS Master of Art of Creative Business Center of Rome. She was executive director of the Department of «Villas and Historic Gardens", having overseen the restoration of many gardens, parks and buildings. He is an advisory member of the International Scientific Committee of ICOMOS-Cultural Landscapes, Vice President of APGI (Parchi Association and Giardini Italiani), a member of the ICOM Italy Council. In 2013 he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture.

Cristina Castel-Branco is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Lisbon since 1989. She has a M.LA from the University of Massachusetts and a PhD in Landscape architecture. Since 1991 she leads a practice of landscape design ACB-Ltd, specialized on the use of sustainable heritage solutions into very contemporary design. She is a member of ICOMOS international consulting body for Unesco on cultural landscapes since 2004 and she was awarded the Honour of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.

David Jacques It is a historian of gardens and conservative, consultant, lecturer and author of numerous publications on historic landscapes, parks and gardens. It was the first Inspector of Historic Parks and Gardens Inglês Heritage from 1987 to 1993. In 1993 became director of the Parks and Gardens UK, having developed the online database that preceded the Parks & Gardens UK.

Didier Wirth He is Chairman of the IEJ&P,, an entity that aims to advance knowledge and promote the art of gardens in Europe. In 1992 he and his wife acquired the Castle of Brécy in Basse Normandie, and devoted themselves to restoring the garden. As a member of the National Parks Board Gardens, which was established in 2003, he , alongside Jean Gueroult and the Minister of Culture and Communication, was responsible for the «Go to gardens», the label «Outstanding gardens» and other measures to better preserve gardens and their environment in France. He also created and chaired the Parks and Gardens in France Foundation, in 2008.

Eduarda Maria de Oliveira Paz is a biologist (U. of Coimbra), with an MA in Conservation of Historic Gardens and Landscapes (U. of York). In 2010, founded Caminhos do Ocidente Lda, a company engaged in cultural heritage conservation and promotion, focussing mainly on historic garden touring in Portugal. Affiliated to U. of Coimbra’s Ecology research centre, she is also the president of the Portuguese Camellia Association and co-director for Portugal of the International Camellia Society.

Elsa Isidro is a Landscape Architect, graduated in 2009 by the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Universidade Técnica de Lisboa. She is in charge for the management of natural and cultural values located in the area of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra (CLS) and in Queluz within the “Parques de Sintra” Company. Since the foundation of “Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua, S.A.” in 2000, the management of these properties involves their restoration, requalification, revitalisation, conservation, research, publicity and operation, opening them to public fruition and enhancing their touristic valour.

Richard Benfield is a Professor of Geography at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut; author of the book Garden Tourism, published by CABI Press, Abingdon, England, 2013. He has been researching tourism to gardens since 1997 culminating in 2013 in his book Garden Tourism. He is particularly interested in the visitors motivations for visiting gardens and the visitor experience once they enter the garden. He has visited gardens in over 113 countries of the world and has just finished a chapter in the upcoming Book Special Interest Tourism which explores the influence of Social media in garden awareness and promotion.

Marco Martella is a garden historian. He is in charge of the promotion of the green heritage of the Département des Hauts de Seine (France). He has published several essays on gardens in French and Italian. He is the founder and director of the magazine "Jardins" (Éditions du Sandre).

Marta Sousa Pires is Executive Manager Bensaude tourism, including Bensaude Hotels and Azorean Travel Agency. She has a degree in Business Management from the Portuguese Catholic University; an MBA and Postgraduate studies in Tourism Management from ESADE (Barcelona).

Monica Luengo is an art history historian; She has a Bachelor's degree in Art History by Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a Master degree in Conservation and Restauration of Arquiteture and Urban Heritage by the Techinal School of Architecture of Madrid, Universidad Politécnica. She is the former President of the International Scientific Committee of Cultural Landscapes ICOMOS-IFLA and former Director of the Master Course on Cultural and Natural Heritage: innovation, research and development option at the Andalucía International University (UNIA).

Raimundo Quintal is PhD in Physical Geography (University of Lisbon). Senior researcher at the Centre for Geographical Studies, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon. Responsible for preparing the floristic list and scientific coordinator of the rehabilitation project of José do Canto Botanical Garden, in Ponta Delgada, since 2013. Responsible for the elaboration of the floristic inventory and the implementation of the concept of botanical hotel in Quinta da Casa Branca, Funchal, 2016.


The program has some of the most influential personalities from the gardens tourism theme at national and international level.
24th February
José do Canto garden's room (Rua José do Canto, 9 – Ponta Delgada)
9.00h Opening session (with the participation of IR Project 'Green Gardens - Azores' Professor Doctor Isabel Albergaria, the President of the IEJ&P,Dr. Didier Wirth, and the President of the Azores Tourism Observatory, Professor Carlos Santos), in the presence of Mrs. Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism and His Excellency Ambassador of Japan
9.45h Keynote Speaker: Richard Benfield - Garden Tourism: What we now know, what have we learnt. What is the future?
10.20h Cristina Castel BrancoHow garden inventories can be useful for their preservation and history. The European Institute of Gardens and Landscapes
10.40h Coffee Break
10.50h Monica LuengoManaging Historic Gardens of the World Heritage List: benefits and challenges of public participation
11.10h Raimundo QuintalBotanical Hotel: from concept to realization
11.30h Debate
12.45h Guided tour to José do Canto´s Botanical Gardens by Raimundo Quintal
13.00h Lunch
14.20h Guided tour to Santana's Garden and Palace
15.45h Guided tour to António Borges's Garden
25th February
Terra Nostra's room – Terra Nostra Garden (Largo do Marquês da Praia e Monforte, Furnas)
10.00h Eduarda PazGarden Tours: in pursuit of hidden Portuguese treasures
10.20h Elsa IsidroRestoration, conservation, promotion and opening to the public of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra: The mission of Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua, S.A.
10.40h Coffee Break
10.50h David JacquesTalking up and dumbing down: the drive for visitor numbers in English gardens
11.10h Alberta CampitelliHistorical itinerary in the villas of Rome – Management and restoration
11.30h Marco MartellaThe advancement of green heritage: the example of Park Valley of Wolves (Hauts de Seine, France)
11.50h Marta Sousa PiresTerra Nostra Gardens: current developments and future challenges
12.10h Debate
12.30h Lunch at Terra Nostra Hotel
14.00h Guided tour to Terra Nostra's Gardens by Joaquim Bensaude and Carina Costa
15.00h Visit to Camellia Flower Show
16.30h Departure to Furnas Lake
16.45h Guided tour to José do Canto Woodland Gardens by Isabel Albergaria
17.30h Return to Ponta Delgada, stop at Porto Formoso´s Tea Factory
20.00h Farewell dinner (Marina Hotel)
26th February
Seven cities, Ponta Delgada
9.30h Departure for the Seven Cities
10.15h Visit to Jardim Pitoresco
11.15h Return to Ponta Delgada

Image gallery

Under development

Video Gallery

Under development


Observatory of the Azores Tourism

Avenida Infante D. Henrique, 71 - Office. 101
Solmar Avenida Center
9504-529 Ponta Delgada

Phone: 296 287 237
E-mail: geral@otacores.com

Lead researcher:
- Isabel Soares Albergaria (CHAM)
E-mail: maria.iw.albergaria@uac.pt

Co-funded by

This event is part of the project "Green Gardens - Azores" (ACORES-01- 0145FEDER-000070), financed by the ERDF at 85% through the Operational Program for the Azores in 2020 and regional funds by 15% through the Regional Science and Technology Directorate .