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Go to Portugal President Discusses Tourism Restoration, Attracting US Vacationers

The Portuguese Nationwide Tourism Board, extra extensively often known as VisitPortugal, is celebrating what Luis Araújo, the group’s president, is looking the nation’s best-ever 12 months when it comes to tourism. Portugal’s rebounding customer arrivals come solely two years after pandemic shutdowns crippled the nation’s essential tourism trade.

American vacationers have been on the forefront of the tourism rebound. The 1.1 million US guests Portugal drew in all of 2019 has already been reached in 2022.


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Now VisitPortugal is doubling down on the nation’s rising reputation with US vacationers, working with key journey advisors and tour operators and rising its advertising of the nation in a number of US cities.

This previous week, Go to Portugal partnered with Madame Tussauds Wax Museum to unveil a life-sized statue of Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo in Instances Sq., New York. The occasion introduced maybe Portugal’s most acknowledged international determine to the eye of vacationers within the nation’s largest metropolis.

In the course of the unveiling, video and pictures of Portugal’s a number of environments, from lush forests and coastal areas to historic Lisbon, performed over each digital billboard within the well-known “Crossroads of the World.” The life-like statue is now on show on the Wax Museum.

We spoke with Araújo in regards to the unveiling, the Instances Sq. billboard takeover and VisitPortugal’s marketing campaign to additional develop its US customer base.

TP: What’s the tourism message behind the Cristiano Ronaldo statue unveiling?

THE: As we speak’s occasion has to do with the truth that america is rising tremendously [for] our nation. It is already our fourth [-largest] market and has been rising since 2016.

Simply to provide you an thought, we had double the variety of American vacationers that we had in 2017 [this year]. So the motion in the present day has to do with that. We’re beginning a particular and targeted marketing campaign for america market, benefiting from Madame Tussauds museum displaying a brand new statue of Cristiano Ronaldo. As he’s Portuguese, we determined to affix forces.

TP: What has made Portugal well-liked with US customers?

THE: I feel it has to do with a number of issues. To start with is connectivity. We now have so many flights to Portugal from completely different corporations, together with United and Delta, [flying] from most important [cities] together with Newark, JFK, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington and Miami.

The second factor has to do with visibility. In the course of the two years of Covid, we had workshops each week with tour operators and journey brokers to particularly inform them in regards to the variety of Portugal.

Luis Araujo, VisitPortugal
Luis Araújo, president of Go to Portugal. (photograph courtesy of Go to Portugal)

TP: How has this impacted the nation’s reputation with Individuals?

THE: Portugal has turn out to be the primary vacation spot for browsing within the searches in Google. Though it is a small nation, it has seven areas which might be very completely different and we’ve been very lively in showcasing that by means of our campaigns.

We now have roughly minus 4 % of in a single day stays [this year] In contrast with 2019, however we’ve 14 % extra of the revenues in contrast with 2019. So it has been a really constructive 12 months, actually, it is going to be the most effective 12 months ever.

TP: How does your group regard American vacationers?

THE: The American vacationer is an excellent one as a result of they keep longer and so they journey contained in the nation. The expertise of the American vacationer in Portugal is a really constructive one. They love the gastronomy and the landscapes.

It is a very secure nation to journey round even in case you’re a girl touring alone. You possibly can go anyplace within the nation. We frequently say we’ve an enormous goal as a tourism vacation spot which is welcoming everybody and respecting variations.

TP: As a tourism-reliant nation, how did Portugal climate the pandemic?

THE: Effectively, I feel each vacation spot had two very tough years. We just about targeted on the inner markets. That was the large savior of our trade. [Tourism] represents roughly 12 % of Portuguese GDP and 10 % of the working drive. In order that’s 400,000 folks.

We now have a inhabitants of 10 million. It is a small nation however we welcomed 27 million friends in 2019. So it is large what we did through the pandemic. In fact, we did not know when it might cease and after we would welcome everybody once more.

TP: What was your technique to cope with the affect of journey shutdowns and post-outbreak journey restrictions?

THE: We determined we must always give attention to communication-building, belief and being clear with what was taking place. We needed to maintain the hyperlink with stakeholders, not solely the vacationers that need to come to Portugal however [also] our companions within the markets in order that they perceive what are we doing that’s completely different.

TP: What did the pandemic expertise train you and the way are you making use of that data?

THE: I’d say that these two years for us have been an enormous studying curve. We couldn’t preserve doing issues the identical method, so we’re now just about targeted on sustainability. Our most important key efficiency indicators are now not what number of friends we welcome. In fact, we’re nonetheless targeted on the revenues however most vital issue now’s the form of friends we appeal to.

That is why we’re a lot targeted on literary tourism and our modern artwork and structure. We simply launched some excursions in Portugal you can go to the nation’s trendy structure. I feel all of that is constructive when it comes to how we carried out and we’re getting the outcomes.

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