Spain, Portugal to join forces to seek Asian tourists

22nd January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spain and Portugal hoping to become a major tour destination for Chinese, Japanese and South Korean market.

ZAMORA——Spain and Portugal will team up to promote both countries as a single destination to potential tourists in the increasingly important Asian market, the governments of the two nations said Thursday.

"We have decided to extend the plan for joint tourism promotion to other markets like China, India and South Korea," they said in a joint statement released after a summit between the governments of the two nations in the Spanish city of Zamora.

Since 2006 Spain and Portugal have promoted themselves as a single tourist destination in the United States in advertisements, at travel fairs and on the Internet.

Spain is the second-most visited country in the world after France while Portugal is among the 20 most-visited, according to figures from the Madrid-based United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO).

While most of China's 1.3 billion people live on just a few dollars a day, the country has a burgeoning middle class many of whom are eager to travel abroad.

China eased its restrictions on foreign travel in 2004 and the number of Chinese tourists visiting foreign destinations is expected to number 100 million by 2020, up from 31 million in 2005, according to the WTO.


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