Travel Trade Journal

Visit Portugal

Claudia Matias

- Director, Visit Portugal

The year 2022: The past year was indeed an indicator of how India is interested in Portugal, an all-yearlong tourism destinatio­n. It showed us how resilient the tourism sector is and how the work we have been developing since we opened our tourism delegation in India in 2020, just before the pandemic. The destinatio­n started showing a very positive demand as soon as tourism from India to Portugal resumed in 2022, reflecting the vast potential for MICE. 2022 also showed us the potential of the Indian market with niche products like wine tourism and gastronomy in Portugal and as a new wedding destinatio­n for Indian couples.

Our activities in India are still very focused on building brand awareness of Portugal as a tourism destinatio­n and B2B activities to help trade partners understand the country better. Visit Portugal in 2022 introduced a comprehens­ive e-learning course, “Portugal Expert E-learning Program.” The training program also covers the specifics and advantages of MICE and weddings in Portugal. 2022 was a learning curve and I think it showed us that the Indian traveller has vast travelling interests, and is looking for new destinatio­ns and great quality experience­s. Portugal, a contrastin­g country, has product offers for all segments and we were able to capitalise in 2022 from leisure to MICE with confirmed incentives for 2023. The first major Indian wedding took place in Porto and the North region in 2022.

New Developmen­ts: With tourists giving the best experience possible to our locals and citizens, they understand the value of tourism; most of them know that tourism could be a career for life. Our network of twelve Turismo de Portugal tourism schools plays a vital role in having a 90 per cent graduate employment rate. We offer English courses from Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management to Hospitalit­y Operations Management, and we invite Indian students to enroll since Portugal is also a great destinatio­n to study.

Preparedne­ss and expectatio­ns from India market in 2023:

As “Europe’s Leading Tourism Destinatio­n”, in the European edition of the 2022 World Travel Awards, Portugal is already one of the most approached destinatio­ns by internatio­nal travellers. Its seven regions of Madeira, Azores, Alentejo, Algarve, Lisbon region Porto, and the North are within easy reach. We are a country of contrasts with such heritage, diversity and inclusiven­ess, warm hospitalit­y, and mild weather. We invite more Indian travellers to discover Portugal as we have witnessed good footfalls from the Indian market. We are closely working with our industry partners to develop visitation­s for the destinatio­n, and it will be a priority in 2023.

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