On September 16th, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, spoke on the sidelines of an international conference on the tourism sector in the city of Évora, and affirmed that the country is already very close to reach 50% of the tourism revenue in 2019. Marques recalled that in the “Plan Reactivate Tourism and Build the Future”, presented by the Portuguese government last May, the forecast was to reach that number this year.
We still have uncertainty ahead of us, but taking into account that the summer was a little better than we thought, we are sure that it will be that number. Very much in line with the other European countries that also work in tourism.Rita Marques, Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism
In 2021, the country should be “at 50% of the revenue of 2019, maintaining the ambition, in 2027”, to be able to reach “a much higher value, therefore, the 28 billion revenues,” a goal already outlined in the plan presented in May, she argued.
“When it comes to tourism, that is our ambition, in 2027 to achieve what we set out to achieve when we designed the tourism strategy in 2016/2017. So I think we will achieve it, for sure, with everyone’s help,” Marques said. Despite recognizing that the government wants the country back to the pre-covid numbers in the tourism sector, Marques argued that above all, the situation calls for “better tourism.”
Of course we want tourism revenues but above all what we want is to provide those who visit Portugal a quality tourism experience, sustainable, that can reduce in a very relevant way our footprint in this worldRita Marques, Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism
On the sidelines of the conference, where the sustainability of tourism was one of the topics under discussion, Marques recalled that there can be no tourism if there isn’t a better planet. Although these are “particularly difficult times” for businesses, at the economic and financial level, due to the pandemic of Covid-19, the Secretary of State stressed that the mission of Portugal “in relation to tourism sustainability” has not been deterred.
Marques underlined that there is a clear public policy in this sense but that it only makes sense if it is matched by private actors and tourists. “We have had some difficulties of economic and financial nature in our companies. We are trying to solve this issue, but we have also identified in the sector a great ambition to transform tourism,” she said.
The world conference on sustainable tourism “A World for Travel — Évora Forum” took place on September 16th and 17th at the University of Évora. It was promoted by various entities in the sector, with support from Visit Portugal. The Forum had over 140 national and international speakers from different areas.
According to Marques, the event was important for the country because it takes place in a face-to-face format, as well as with speakers and participants joining online. The event also affirmed Portugal’s leading position when it comes to the organization of international events.