2024 sees events in Atlanta, Boston and Austin (Texas)
Open Media’s “Living in Portugal” events, promoting Portugal as a destination for emigration and investment, will be extending to three new US cities in February 2024.
The new roadshows, conceived and organised by the Algarve-based media company, will visit Austin, Texas, on February 24, Atlanta, Georgia, on February 28 and Boston, Massachusetts, on March 2.
Said Open Media’s CEO Bruce Hawker: “Although California is the area where there is most demand for Portugal, demand in the rest of the country continues to grow (…) We wanted other cities,” he told Lusa after two events in San Francisco and stops in Los Angeles and New York.
The events involve 12 – 14 Portuguese companies in areas including real estate, insurance, moving logistics and legal support for emigration. Representatives of these companies make presentations to participants, with the aim of providing Americans interested in emigrating to Portugal with useful information.
As reports throughout the international media have explained, the interest of Americans in living in Portugal has “grown exponentially in recent years.
“The biggest demand from Americans has been for the Algarve and Lisbon and the surrounding area,” Bruce Hawker told Lusa. Around 30% to 40% of people attending these events are interested in the Algarve, another 30% to 40% want to go to Lisbon, and around 10% are looking at the rest of Portugal, such as Porto, Coimbra and the islands.
“The vast majority have already visited Portugal,” he explains. “What you also feel is that many of them are at the beginning of the learning curve, at the start of their journey to move to Portugal. They’re in the information-seeking phase.”
The new cities were chosen based on possible points of interest related to technology, affluence and the Portuguese community.
In the case of Austin, its growth as a centre for technological development justifies the selection.
“We felt that having a tech hub was very important because of the growing demand for the digital nomad visa and digital nomads who are choosing Portugal for various reasons, such as cost, quality of life and safety,” said Hawker.
There are no direct flights from Austin to Portugal, but it turns out to be a relatively easy connection, not least because there are many daily flights to Europe.
“I’m confident that Austin is a good choice,” he said. “In Texas, there is a lot of wealth and people who are interested in coming here, or even investing in Portugal.”
In the case of Atlanta, the idea is to test interest in one of the United States’ mega-cities, which has the largest and busiest airport in the world.
In Boston, the focus is on the Portuguese-American community in one of the States with the largest presence of people of Portuguese origin.
“The attraction is that it’s an affluent city with good access to Portugal and with a strong Portuguese community, even second and third generation, which is always an important market for our events,” said Hawker. Boston also has direct flights to Lisbon and the islands and possesses a Portuguese consulate.
“One important thing we’re going to present is the new reality of visas,” said Bruce Hawker, referring to the changes to the golden visa and the conditions of the D7 and digital nomads.
Mr Hawker will also talk about AFPOP, the largest association of foreign residents in Portugal, which has existed since 1987 and has almost 10,000 members.
“They have a large team, and members can call them and ask for all kinds of information,” he said. “They have more and more members from the United States, which is the fastest growing market.”
The upcoming events, which will include tastings of Portuguese wines, are scheduled for the W Hotel Austin ( February 24), the Ritz Carlton Atlanta (February 28) and the Ritz Carlton Boston (March 2, 2024).
In June and September next year, “Living in Portugal” events will return to California and New York.