Portugal is set to host the annual Web Summit in Lisbon between the 4th and 7th of November 2019, attracting the biggest tech companies, with 1200+ speakers and 70,000+ attendees from over 160+ countries. Web Summit is the world’s largest technology conference and has selected Lisbon as the host city from 2016 until 2028. Some of the high-profile attendees for this year’s edition include Tony Blair, Edward Snowden, Michael Barnier, Guo Ping, Chairman of Huawei and Nikolay Storonsky, Founder & CEO of Revolut.
Portugal, and specifically Lisbon, was selected to host the Web Summit for the next decade due to the country’s innovation strategy, the dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem and Portugal’s expertise to host international events. This event will also boost Portugal’s aspirations to become a travel & tourism technology hub as part of its ambitious Tourism Strategy 2027.
Within this framework, the Portuguese Government launched Tourism 4.0 to promote entrepreneurship, to support travel and tourism startups, as well as to foster innovation in tourism in Portugal. Under this initiative, Turismo de Portugal acts as the leading body, promoting the establishment of alliances and partnerships between the different stakeholders, facilitating access to finance and offering training and strategic advice to SMEs.
Several projects have been launched in this context, contributing to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the Portuguese tourism industry. These include promoting knowledge through new sources of data and intelligence, promoting a culture of innovation through the introduction of entrepreneurship and soft skills contents in all training courses at Turismo de Portugal’s hotel schools, creating a network of 40 incubators and accelerators, supporting open innovation programs with more than 300 startups per year and developing dedicated financing instruments to promote innovation in the sector.
The anchor project of Turismo 4.0 is the new Tourism Innovation Center (NEST). NEST is a public-private partnership created to support the digital transformation of the tourism sector and to become a global center for innovation. The founding partners of NEST are ANA Airports, BPI bank, Brisa, Google, Microsoft Portugal, Millennium BCP bank, NOS Communications and Turismo de Portugal.
Speaking about the Web Summit in Portugal, Rita Baptista Marques, the Secretary of State for Tourism Portugal said: “Web Summit selecting Portugal for hosting the conference until 2028 is a testimony to the country being a global technology innovation hub. We have consistently invested in making Portugal a centre of excellence in the technology sector, preparing the economy beyond Tourism and promoting a culture of innovation to drive the economy. Therefore, Portugal’s innovative tech sector combined with its unparalleled tourism leadership offers an unmatchable experience for anyone visiting the country. The Web Summit will undoubtedly demonstrate this yet again this year.”