Secretary of State for Tourism Ana Mendes Godinho says Portugal is using “every trump card”, even its Covid-19 vaccination success, to woo German tourists back to the country.
Germany is one of Portugal’s main tourist markets, having accounted for nearly €2 billion in revenue, six million overnight stays and 1.5 million guests in 2019. Thus, it is no surprise the government is eager to entice German holidaymakers to return.
“Portugal is using every trump card it has. We are playing with a full deck,” the secretary of state told Lusa news agency this week following a three-day round of meetings in the German cities of Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.
“We are using our vaccination rate, which, as we know, is one of the highest in Europe. We are using a strategy for the tourism sector, created in 2017, which is based on the pillars of sustainability. We are using the trump card of being the first country in the world to present a sanitary safety seal, and of having trained over 170,000 professionals in the sector during the pandemic,” Marques added.
During her meetings with German airlines, tour operators and press, Rita Marques stressed the importance of “establishing a context of increased confidence” after 20 months of pandemic.
“We do not want just numbers, we want to actively contribute to a larger distribution of German tourists across our territory (…) We do not want them to come here solely during the high season, we are working very hard on seasonality. And we want them to have an increasingly more authentic experience,” the secretary of state said.
The time for tourism to get back on its feet is now, the government official believes.
“Instead of being frightened, we have to actively monitor the situation. We are in a very different place than we were 20 months ago when the pandemic was identified. We have a vaccine, a very important vaccination rate and a very functional European Certificate,” Marques said.
The secretary of state also recognised that German tourists are normally “very demanding” and “very eager for niche experiences” that go way beyond the “sun and sea” products that Portugal is mostly known for. She added that government is striving to offer German tourists these alternatives.
By MICHAEL BRUXO