Portugal received this Wednesday, and for the first time, the award for Best Sustainable Destination in Europe, a distinction announced during ITB Berlin, the main international tourism fair.

“It's one more attraction and one more business card to promote Portugal in a market that values sustainable destinations so much. It is fantastic in terms of international notoriety”, revealed Ana Mendes Godinho, Secretary of State for Tourism, in statements to the Lusa agency.

“It was a surprise, they had told us that we would be on the list of finalists, but it was a good surprise to see the recognition of the work and strategy of tourism 2027”, she underlined.

The award results from an application made by Portugal, and in the 2nd and 3rd places were Bled, a region of Slovenia, and Mali Losinj, in Croatia.

“It puts us on the radar of investors and the public who, more and more, make their choice of holiday destinations based on criteria of sustainability of the tourist offer itself”, assumed the Secretary of State for Tourism, who, in addition to visiting the ITB fair Berlin also participated in the International Tourism Investor Forum (IHIF), which was attended by more than 2,200 investors.

Portugal, which participated for the first time in the IHIF, had “a presentation panel” as a tourist destination that aroused “a lot of support and a lot of curiosity”, with “some international groups and brands interested in knowing and looking at Portugal as an investment destination” , he said.

According to Ana Mendes Godinho, Germany is the second most important market for Portugal in terms of overnight stays.

“In 2018, what we felt was a faster growth in revenue than in guests. We had a revenue growth of 10% and a 5% increase in the number of passengers disembarking from Germany, which means that we had around 2.6 million passengers disembarking from airports coming from Germany. In terms of guests, we had a slight decrease of about 3%, which shows that we are managing to reach segments that spend more when they go to Portugal ”, she clarified.

According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), for 2016, the average cost per trip of the German tourist was 960 euros, and the average daily cost was 91 euros. In 2018, German tourists generated €1,900 million in revenue, 9.8 percent more than in 2017.

“We are investing more and more in promoting Portugal as a destination for international congresses and corporate and company events and also as a destination for sports internships, precisely to promote” the country also as a destination that attracts a diverse audience throughout the year, and “not as a sun and beach destination, as it was known a few years ago here in Germany”, defined the Secretary of State for Tourism.

The ITB Berlin fair ends next Sunday. The Portuguese presence has the seven regions of the Portuguese tourist promotional areas: Porto and North of Portugal, Center of Portugal, ATL — Associação Turismo de Lisboa, Alentejo, Madeira and Azores and 92 companies spread over 870 m2.

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