Portugal: An increasing events and congresses destination
Tourism figures hit all records in 2017: we overcame the 20 million tourists figure for the first time in hotels, revenues exceeded 15 billion euros (with the highest growth rate of the last two decades), we won the Oscar for best destination in the world. And Tourism created 53 thousand new jobs.
Tourism has been growing throughout the year, highlighting the strong growth in the so-called "low season".
For these results, the events and congresses market dynamics, which have been a key factor to generate attractiveness throughout the year and the territory, are also two key pillars of the 2027 Tourism Strategy.
We have all made a great investment in the positioning of Portugal as a destination for the organisation of congresses and events.
And it is a great sign that Portugal has risen for the first time to ICCA's Top 10 [2016 ranking, announced in 2017].
Everybody's work is clearly paying off.
The articulation between all players, the convention bureaux, the Turismo de Portugal team and the MICE funding program has been crucial.
In order to leverage all this work, in 2017 we launched a new online platform, MeetingsinPortugal.com, to give visibility to the existing structures in Portugal, also providing information to all about the scheduled events and bringing demand closer, and which is increasingly assuming itself as an instrument of promotion.
In 2017, as a result of these efforts, the program involved 61 new events, and by 2018 another 65 are already planned.
All this dynamics contributed decisively to the results of the tourist activity in Portugal.
It is necessary to continue this work, to keep growing in value and expand Tourism more and more to the whole country and all year round.
It is necessary to continue this mission of establishing new and diversified segments, of which the growth of 40% in the Chinese, American and Brazilian markets are motivating examples.
Tourism must increasingly assume its role as the driving force behind regional economies.
In fact, it was in this context, and following the fires that occurred in the central zone of the country, that we created a special program to encourage meetings and corporate events in those territories, which I hope will be used by Portuguese companies.
Also in these difficult moments in which it is necessary to resume the tourist activity in these areas, events and congresses can have a determining role to generate dynamics in the region.
Here is the challenge: that in 2018 all companies think about Centro de Portugal as a place to hold their meetings, taking advantage of the mechanism we have created for this purpose, as an encouragement.
2018 will bring more reaping from all the seeds that together we are sowing and I am sure it will be another great year for the events and congresses in Portugal and all thanks to You.
Ana Mendes Godinho
Secretary of State for Tourism
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