Portugal looks at increasing Indian visitor arrivals

Written by Akshay Kumar | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 21 2014, 20:46pm hrs
PortugalDespite Eurozone Debt Crisis, tourism in Portugal is increasing year on year. Thinkstock
Focused on increasing tourism inflow from the India market, Portugal recently held a series of roadshows here. The Turismo De Portugal led a delegation of around 20 to Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai in order to promote the destination's latest hotels, resorts, attractions and tours. Indian visitor arrivals though a small number, has been growing over the years.

Claudia Miguel, trade relations, Turismo De Portugal, said, This is the second time we are hosting a roadshow in India. India is one of the key market for Portugal and we want to strengthen ties with India in the tourism sector. We want the Indian travel agents to become familiar with all our products and offerings. In Portugal we have started receiving a lot of Asians recently and would like to see an increase in Indians visiting our nation.

Vitor Manuel De Almeida, general manager, Oasistravel.net, said, The number of visa applications to Portugal from 2011 to 2012 has doubled. But comparatively the number of Indian tourists is less. It is a big challenge to understand the needs of the Indian market. We have a lot to offer for the Indian market, but as of now we only see MICE travellers from India. Also, we are promoting Portugal as a wedding destination as many tourists come to Portugal for a romantic wedding.

Speaking about the success of the road shows in other cities, Carl Vaz, chairman and CEO, Charson Advisory, said, We have seen an excellent response in Bengaluru and Chennai. A Portugal delegation of 20 have come to India to promote Portugal. It is a country which has something for everyone, like there are beaches, golf courses, mountains, wine tourism and much more to explore.

Portugal,one of the EU member country was one amongst the most affected economy during the Eurozone Debt Crisis, despite the crisis the tourism industry in Portugal is growing at a good rate year on year. In 2008, Portugal witnessed a remarkable tourist footfall, after which the Eurozone Debt Crisis affected all the EU nations. Still Portugal observed an increase in tourism and revenue generation. The year 2013 saw a record growth in tourism, from Russia (+ 34 per cent), USA and Canada (35 per cent), from Germany and UK(17.6 per cent and 18.6 per cent respectively) which are the two biggest market for Portugal.

Speaking about the status of tourism in Portugal, Claudia Miguel, trade relations, Turismo De Portugal, said, In 2012-13 tourism in Portugal has seen a fantastic growth. After the Eurozone Debt Crisis affected all the EU nations, the economy of our country was majorly affected. Fortunately our nation has seen an increase in tourism and revenue generation year on year. 9.5 per cent of our total GDP is generated through tourism, 8 per cent of employment is in the tourism industry. Tourism will surely play a key role in stabilising the crisis.