When I changed planes in Kuwait, I saw a glossy magazine introducing England on the airport. It spoke about the common past between Arabs and England, advertised holidays and the advantages of studying and doing business in the UK.
When I was in Macao, I was stunned about the Portuguese buildings, roads and history of that place. What a perfect business card for the old colonial power, Portugal – sadly there was “no address on it”!
What I want to say is that the airports, ferry terminals, hotels, travel agencies etc. in Macao need such booklets as well – explaining that there’s more culture to experience in Portugal itself and why Portugal is an important gateway to huge lusophone markets like Brazil and Angola for Chinese businesses.
Why? The Chinese will be the highest spenders on tourism in the world soon with a huge growth rate – and gigantic market! First they go to Macao, China’s gambling and holiday paradise. Then they want to see Europe. But they leave out Portugal, because they were not told why they should go there.
Wake up, Portugal, present yourself! Macao will soon be connected with Hong Kong by the longest bridge in the world and will grow together with 10 other cities into the world’s biggest megacity by 2020 with 60 million inhabitants.
No other country is represented there like Portugal with Macao. It doesn’t help to offer a golden visa if no one knows about it! Get your infrastructure ready for Chinese visitors and tell them where to find you!
I wonder if Portugal also missed this opportunity to represent itself in Brazil for the World Cup – like “There’s more of this in Europe, too”.
It also had a great chance of capitalising from being mentioned countless times in the press during the past years. Yes, it was bad press, about the crisis, the bailout etc. – but after being little known to many people in the world, the name “Portugal” was heard so often, they should have made campaigns like “You heard about our bailout, but do you know about our beaches, weather, lifestyle, food, buildings, culture, heritage, music, big lusophone market?”
Please don’t miss this chance in Macao.