Tourism in Portugal “not benefiting from other countries’ misfortunes”

Tourism in Portugal is booming due to the country’s own merits and not because of “terrorism-related issues in other countries”. So says Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation (WTO).

“I don’t think Portugal is benefitting from other countries’ misfortunes,” he told Lusa news agency after attending a tourism seminar in Lisbon.

“You (Portugal) are doing well because you’re good, not because others are not as good,” Rifai said, adding that “no country is 100% immune to insecurity”.

He pointed out that terrorism threats are a “global issue” and not exclusive to countries such as “Turkey, Egypt, France, Belgium and Thailand”.

In his eyes, however, “Portugal is a wonderful place to live and to visit”.

“I never felt insecure or unwelcome,” the UN tourism chief added.

Rifai also praised Portugal’s “young talent and innovation” which he says has placed it at the forefront of international tourism.

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