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Portuguese government looks to British tourism market to increase revenue

Published on 24/11/2017

The Portuguese government is committed to increasing revenue from tourism and the British market is a priority.

The guarantee came from the Secretary of State for Tourism Ana Mendes Godinho at the World Travel Market held in London between November 6 and 8.

As she explained, Brits accounted for the most overnight stays, guests and revenue in Portugal in 2016.

“Our goal is to continue attracting the British market,” she said.

Statistics show that between January and August 2017 there was a 13.6% increase in the amount of money spent by British tourists, while the number of guests increased by 4.4% and overnight stays by 3.4% compared to the same period last year.

“Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, British tourists are spending more money in Portugal which is a good sign. We haven’t felt the effects of Brexit yet in terms of demand,” the secretary of state said.

Ana Mendes Godinho is hoping that the annual conventions of three travel operators (ABTA, Thomas Cook and AITO – Association of Independent Tourism Agencies of the United Kingdom) in Portugal will provide an ever-larger boost to the country’s tourism numbers.

As Lusa news agency explains, Portugal’s tourism board last year managed to attract the convention of promoters of the German branch of Thomas Cook, bringing around 150 journalists to the country. This translated into an increase of exposure in the German market, and more German tourists seeking Portugal as a holiday destination. German tourists also spent 16.2 % more in the first eight months of 2017 than in the same period of 2016.

This led the government to invite 150 British journalists to the country this year, which resulted in 2,500 articles about Portugal being published in British publications.

Most of the articles were about ‘lesser known’ or ‘lesser explored’ areas of the country.

“We are not interested in showing what people already know. We have focused on nature tourism, active tourism, cultural tourism, heritage, gastronomy and wines, as well as golf as an ‘off season’ product”, she said.

Hopes are that the initiative will be as successful as it was with the German market.