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October 3, 2008

Portugal targets UK in bid to boost tourism

The Portuguese National Tourist Office has appointed a new director of tourism in the UK to help deliver government targets for the sector.

Miguel Perestrello, a former cabinet member of the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism, has been given the task to increase the number of UK visitors to Portugal and contribute to the goal of making tourism constitute 15% of the country’s gross domestic product by 2015. Currently, the figure stands at 11%.

Perestrello was heavily involved in developing Portugal’s National Strategic Plan for Tourism, a government programme implementing a series of initiatives to encourage the sustained growth of national tourism.

In his new role, he will be working closely with the seven regional tourism promotion agencies responsible for promoting the Algarve, Lisbon, Madeira, Porto and North of Portugal, Centro, Alentejo and the Azores.

 “UK tourists make up 30% of visitors to Portugal,” said Perestrello. “It is such an important market for us, and there’s a huge opportunity to boost the number of UK visitors to the country – especially in the low season. Portugal has everything – sun and sea, gastronomy and culture, golf and sailing, and it is a fantastic destination for young and old alike.”

The London-based Portuguese National Tourist Office works under the guidance of Turismo de Portugal, which recently won the 2008 World Travel Award for Europe’s leading Tourist Board.

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