Portugal works with Russia to “simplify” entry visas

Launching the tourist board’s “Can’t Skip Portugal” campaign at the World Travel Awards in St Petersburg last weekend, minister for tourism Ana Mendes Godinho said the government is working towards simplifying visas for Russian tourists to “dynamise the market” already in ascendency.

2017 has seen Russian tourist numbers double on figures for last year, she said, stressing this signifies Russia “could be a potentially very big growth market” for Portugal.

Talking to Lusa, Mendes Godinho said Russian tour operators have now been made aware of Portugal’s efforts to “unblock” visa issues.

As publicised over the weekend, Portugal clinched 37 World Travel Awards this year – not least the coveted distinction of Best Europe destination (click here).

On Friday, Mendes Godinho will be flying Portugal’s flag even further at a “high level meeting in Paris”, called by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).

Observador explains that the meeting is designed to discuss sustainable tourism and how it can contribute to a country’s growth.

Said Mendes Godinho: “From the outset what I think Portugal has managed to show is that there are other ways beyond austerity. Tourism can be an instrument to mobilise people, but it can also be a way of promoting Portuguese products”.

The minister is due to present a new pilot project for the sector – announced here last week – which involves releasing a €10 million line of finance to new sustainable tourism projects.

[email protected]