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Thursday, 05 March, 2020, 17 : 00 PM [IST]

Turismo De Portugal gains ground in India with increasing inbound; opens office in New Delhi

Buoyed by the growth of inbound traffic from India, Turismo De Portugal has opened an office in New Delhi with effect from January 1, 2020, and has appointed a full-time director to look after this market. “We received a good number of tourists from India especially in the last two years which encouraged us to open an office in India. Claudia Matias will be responsible for this market, and she will frequently visit Mumbai and other potential citites across the country,” said Fillipe Silva, Board Member, Turismo De Portugal. 

According to Silva, 70,000 tourists from India visited Portugal in 2019 which accounts for 150,000 overnights. “This is a very encouraging number. Whatever efforts were undertaken in the Indian market in the recent past has met with success. Moreover, response from the travellers is equally encouraging,” said Silva. 

Talking about the strategy for 2020, he said that they would target Tier-II cities in India. “We are majorly concentrating on cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad. This will help us to extend our reach through our trade partners who have business in other cities as well,” he pointed out. 

When asked to comment on B2B engagement in India, Silva said that plans are afoot to organise webinars and impart training to travel partners. “It is imperative to train our business partners which will help them to sell the destination better. Besides this, we are also organising FAM trips for travel agents to gain first-hand knowledge about Portugal,” he said. Forging partnerships with OTAs (Online Travel Agent) is also a part of their strategy for 2020.

Dwelling on air connectivity, he said that there is no direct flight from India to Portugal as of now. “But, this does not deter Indian tourists visiting Portugal. One can travel via main hubs like Dubai, Istanbul, Frankfurt etc,” he pointed out. In terms of working towards establishing direct connections to India, he stated, “To make it happen, traffic has to grow and at the same time the business has to sustain as well. Once it happens, only then we can approach airlines to start direct connectivity. For any airline, it has to be a feasible option,” he pointed out.

Carlos Pereira Marques, Ambassador of Portugal to India, said that the bilateral relations between the two countries are excellent. “Whatever is happening on the tourism front is quite natural. Portugal is a safe country and people speak English. These two factors will further provide momentum for the growth of tourism,” Marques said. Talking about visa processing, he said that they are working on further simplifying visa procedure. 

As far as the target segments are concerned, the Tourism Department of Portugal is focusing on MICE, leisure, wedding, family, FITs and film tourism. “Though Portugal is a small country, but it has all elements of tourism like culture, nature, architecture, gastronomy, wines, etc. We have more than 15 UNSECO World Heritage Sites,” said Silva.

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