Portugal has set out an ambitious vision through 2027 to become one of world’s most sustainable tourism destinations.
Turismo de Portugal will enact the Portuguese government’s proposed strategy to place sustainability at the heart of the country’s national tourism policy, with specific focus on the environment, social impacts and economic impacts.
By 2027, the tourist board will aim to ensure the majority of all tourism businesses in the country develop and implement energy, water and waste management measures.
Social priorities include boosting employment prospects for Portuguese workers, reducing the seasonality of the country’s tourism offering and improving residents’ outlook on tourism development in the country and better profiling its benefits.
Economic aims include, by 2027, increasing overnight stays from 48.9 million in 2015 to 80 million and more than doubling the revenues generated by tourism from €11.5 billion to €26 billion.
The tourist board’s plan to increase seasonality, meanwhile, will involve relocating a significant proportion of these overnight stays and revenues to “non-traditional regions” to bring greater prosperity to the regions and take the strain off recognised tourist destinations in the country.
Its 2027 action plan is based around making best use of the country’s tourism assets; boosting the economy; enhancing knowledge; increasing connectivity; and promoting the country.
Initiatives already under way include bringing existing tourism and historic destinations up to date with features such as Wi-Fi access and accessibility improvements, while seeking to develop closer ties with people living in communities supporting the country’s tourism offering.
Additionally, the country is aiming to leverage its lesser-known cycling and walking routes, as well as its surf offering, to attract new tourists from new markets.
Portugal’s tourism innovate centre, meanwhile, is working with companies including Google and Microsoft to develop technology and business ideas to boost the country’s digital economy.
A wide-ranging scheme to measure the country’s tourism performance has also been developed to ensure the tourist board’s efforts are contributing to its core objectives.
Luis Araujo, Turismo de Portugal chairman, said: “In Portugal, we intend to affirm tourism as a hub for economic, social and environmental development, positioning Portugal as one of the most competitive and sustainable tourist destinations in the world.”