The establishment of a strong tourism focal point in the Douro Valley economic development priority area will help move Portugal to 10th place among the world’s most important tourism destinations, thus displacing Austria. Economy Ministry Carlos Tavares says it is important for Portugal to boost its annual visitor tally from 12 million to 18 million people (currently the Austrian level) and boost annual tourism revenue from 6.2 billion to 9 billion US dollars, the level presently earned by Greece.
The strategy is to increase both the tourism attractions on offer and the value of product sold. Tavares believes that as Spain, Portugal’s principal trading partner, is responsible for nearly half the country’s 12 million visitors each year, the Douro Valley proposals should be heavily marketed there.
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