In a week when political hoardings scattered around the Algarve were cited for “causing discontent” among German holidaymakers, deputy prime minister Paulo Portas has revealed that one of the coalition’s “ambitions” is to attract twice the number of German visitors to Portugal over 2015.
Talking at Berlin’s ITB international tourism fair yesterday (Wednesday) Portas said: “As a country that sends out tourists, Germany is one of the most important in the world, yet only 1% of Germans choose Portugal for their holidays. If we could make that 2%, imagine the growth that would mean for the worth of tourism.”
Figures published by Turismo de Portugal show Germany in second place when it came to the “largest number of hotel bookings” in Portugal (4.4 million in 2014), and in third when it came to the country responsible for sending the most tourists.
Thus the plan now is for more touristic promotion – particularly online – with a “tripling” of the online marketing investment budget to €1.5 million – while a further €3 million will be spent promoting Portugal in Germany in other ways.
According to President of Turismo de Portugal João Cotrim de Figueiredo, the Algarve and Madeira “continue to be the regions most sought after by German tourists”.
No mention however was made of the rash of Bloco de Esquerda hoardings that went up in the Algarve last weekend, showing Angela Merkel applauding Pedro Passos Coelho’s government for being “more German than the German one”.
As reported in the Resident, the region’s hoteliers are on the warpath over the campaign which is presented in German with the Portuguese translation beneath it.
They say the hoardings are upsetting German holidaymakers and should be taken down (see: https://www.portugalresident.com/algarve-hoteliers-demand-removal-of-anti-german-hoardings).
By NATASHA DONN [email protected]
Photo: STEVEN GOVERNO/LUSA