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MARCH 2012 | WORDS | Filipe Silva


Developer profi le

THE GOVERNMENT OUTLOOK | 49 Tourism booming

The number of visitors travelling to Portugal last year grew at a phenomenal rate, boosting the confi dence levels of everyone involved in the country’s large residential tourism sector. Writing exclusively for OPP, The Portuguese Government’s Director of Tourism, Filipe Silva (pictured right), explains where the market is at the moment, and what he can see happening in the immediate future. Top people talk to OPP.

n Portugal, general tourism development and residential tourism go hand-in-hand. It is a country that people like to live in, once they have visited it. It is calm, safe and civilised, and its prime property coastline, the Algarve, has not been plagued by over-development and badly-designed resorts.


A brief glance on the economic prosperity of the sector: Let’s start with some basic facts and

fi gures about Portugal, and its appeal for the overseas property industry. The tourism sector makes a major contribution towards the creation of wealth for the national, regional and local economy and also directly and indirectly promotes the creation of jobs. Like the previous year, in 2011

tourism in Portugal grew in all indicators for the activity. In terms of overnight stays, there was an increase of 2.2 million overnight stays compared with 2010. A total of 39.6 million overnight stays was achieved, mainly due to tourism inbound from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, and the Netherlands. The World Economic Forum recognised Portugal as the 18th most

competitive destination in the index of travel and tourism competitiveness. The growth model based on more dynamic foreign demand and more revenue per tourist meant that the tourism sector represented about 14% of exports of goods and services in 2011.

Revenues have also increased on a consistent basis, being fully recovered from the international economic and


contribution to the Portuguese GDP reached 9.2% in 2010”

fi nance crisis that started in mid 2008: Tourism’s contribution to the Portuguese GDP reached 9.2% in 2010, reinforcing a growing trend in recent years and it has increased its position in what regards to employment share within the Portuguese economy.

Tourism in Portugal: The national strategic plan.

Portugal has the necessary “raw materials” - climate, natural and cultural resources – to consolidate and develop 10 strategic tourism products:

Foreign Tourism Revenue (Billion Euros)

9,0 8,0

6,0 7,0

5,0 4,0

3,0 2,0 1,0 0,0

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Source: Bank of Portugal 2009 2010 2011 Potential | Portugal’s ‘raw materials’ like its climate are an integral part of the plan

Sun and Beach, Cultural and Landscape Touring, City Break, Meetings and Congresses, Nature Tourism, Nautical Tourism, Health and Wellness, Golf, Residential Tourism and Integrated Resorts and Gastronomy and Wines. Intervention in these products

involves the development of structured, distinctive and innovative offers, in line with the value proposal for Portugal, based on catalysing the natural vocation of each region, which will enable them to successfully compete in the target markets. Over the past fi ve years, the National Strategic Plan for Tourism has been the key guideline to defi ne the initiatives that contribute to a sustained growth of Portuguese tourism. This plan is currently being revised taking into consideration all the changes occurred on the external parameters. The plan involves the implementation of 11 strategic projects with defi ned objectives: 1. Products, destinations and

poles: develop innovative tourism products based on the natural vocation of each destination, and taking into consideration with what the tourist is demanding, allowing Portugal to compete successfully in

targeted markets.

2. Intervention in zones of tourism interest (urbanism, environment and the landscape): focuses on improving the urban, environmental and landscape quality of the territory, as a key component of the tourism product and the global attractiveness of Portugal and its regions as tourism destinations. 3. Development of distinctive and innovative contents: requires the development of Portuguese traditional content, associated to the history of Portugal, literature or music, together with ensuring suitable conditions to enjoy Portuguese cultural and gastronomy offer, creating distinctive and innovative experiences to tourists who select Portugal as a holiday destination. 4. Events: promote events in Portugal with international impact and develop a national, regional and local calendar of cultural, sporting and entertainment activities that will increase Portugal’s awareness as a tourism destination. Portugal has achieved important credits and expertise in setting up important and successful international events. Examples include: EXPO ’98, Football EURO ’04, Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup Series among others. 5. Air access: bringing Portugal

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