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May 23, 2017

Portugal: Meetings Industry... the Allure of Working With the Best

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by Joaquim Pires, M&I marketing manager at Turismo de Portugal

joaquim piresAiming to project the image of Portugal and to increase the destination's visibility in international markets, hosting events is one of the strategic assets of national tourism and a priority to Turismo de Portugal. Turismo de Portugal's strategy in the medium term is to invest in a set of actions aimed at attracting, implementing, supporting and supervising specialised international congresses and events, and having the ability to project the image of Portugal in foreign markets.

This commitment includes a set of anchor elements for the work to be carried out, namely the creation of a specialised team, the promotion of a support program in attracting international congresses and events, the provision of an M&I platform that gathers relevant information about events in Portugal, as well as the implementation of specific promotional actions for this segment. These will aim to give greater international renown to existing infrastructure and services for the hosting of major international events and their promotion.

Considering the current maturity degree of the M&I product, and in view of its potentiation in international markets, we have been in contact with the Regional Convention Bureaux (CBs), in order to share information and thus have a national vision while approaching international markets.

This strategy also implies the important involvement of tourism teams located in international markets, in order to identify opportunities in this area and to support the national companies / CBs in their commercial activity.

Turismo de Portugal has strengthened its relationship with national stakeholders, emphasising the importance of congregating the efforts of all entities (public and private) that contribute to the improvement of Portugal's international perception as a venue for events and congresses.

This continuous articulation between public and private agents has allowed a greater internal fluidity of relevant information, a greater effectiveness in the use of resources for this area, and a greater commitment among the various national agents of the sector (CBs and other private agents) in the sense of improving their commercial performance in international markets through knowledge sharing.

This new interaction model has also made it possible to identify projects that may come to mitigate the seasonality of the tourism sector in Portugal, as well as contribute to greater territorial cohesion, by identifying other venues for the realisation of events in the various regional destinations, and thus promoting sustainable employment, generating more business in a balanced way, and increasing the country's average income.

Soon, a platform (www.meetingsinportugal.com) will be available to all national and international agents that makes available all the aggregated offer of Meeting Industry in Portugal, with special emphasis on Cultural Heritage and its use by entities that are directly and indirectly related to the holding of congresses, incentives and other international events.

We are aware that there is still a way to go to reach our goals. It is necessary to continue to strengthen the interaction between Turismo de Portugal and the marketing plans of CBs and national trade, as well as to ensure a greater presence of Turismo de Portugal in international forums and similar events, thus allowing a more intense follow-up of M&I event attraction actions.

At the moment, there are 47 events to be held in Portugal in the most diverse tourist regions, under the reformulated Program for Attracting and Holding Congresses and Corporate and Association Events. There is a strict framework of criteria for identifying priorities in terms of location and time organisation, will be held in Portugal in different tourist regions. recently reassessed in order to ensure a broader coverage of this program.

Yes, it is true that there is still significant work to be done, but it is our conviction that the objectives of increasing Portugal's competitiveness in the MI segment will be achieved thanks to a joint effort, and an attitude of responsibility and information sharing among all national partners.


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