Although tourism has faced previous crisis, this one is different because it’s global. Portugal always showed great resilience and is prepared to face this one.
Thanks to clear and objective measures, implemented at a very early stage, Portugal is succeeding in positioning itself internationally as an example of how to control and conduct the pandemic situation for which strongly contributed the concerted strategies of public health protection, support for businesses and a strict compliance by citizens and companies with the instructions and guidelines issued by Government authorities.
The World’s Best Destination continues to be authentic, diverse, attractive, inclusive and safe. We maintain our purpose and our commitment to welcome all our visitors and ensure that they can travel around our country safely and confidently.
On May 18th, Portugal took another step in the process of gradually opening our economy and social life. This new phase, which coincided with International Museum Day, was marked by the opening not only of our museums, but also of other cultural amenities such as monuments, art galleries, interpretative centres, palaces and churches. Restaurants, cafés, patisseries, esplanades and shopping centres. The strict and rigorous health and safety measures imposed in this country by the Department of Health will remain in force, such as the obligatory use of masks, the continuation of two-metre social distancing, and conditions for frequent disinfection of hands by employees, visitors or customers, and of surfaces and spaces, the allocation of which will be subject to limits.
The start of the bathing season, which will begin on 6 June, will mark a further phase in the return to business.
As the national tourism board, we are focused on always being relevant and timely, so we implemented a four step strategy:
* Being useful: Our website visitportugal.com transformed into 'Portugal Tourism Response', aggregating all the info about the pandemic, restrictions and safety measures.
* Being insightful: In a time of pandemic and confinement we needed to take a break, dream of the great days to come and face this together so we launched the #CantSkipHope movement that organically reached over 1.8 million people in over 90 countries. It is also translated in +12 languages, most of the translations were done by the users that wanted to share this inspirational message with the world
* Being helpful: As an organization we help launch a campaign in Portugal to acquire volunteers for nursing homes, to help out our elders during this time of need. We were able to mobilize over 4.000 people in 10 days throughout the country.
* Being inspirational: To keep people inspired and hopeful in the future we launched the #ReadPortugal campaign. This multi market campaign challenges people to travel through Portugal in their imagination, using Portuguese writers Books as a means of travelling. While we remain confined to our houses, our imagination has no bounds.
Portugal has started relaxing the restrictions implemented to control the Pandemic, with the objective of reopening the economy and social activity within the country. This reopening is happening gradually, and social distancing and extraordinary hygiene procedures will remain.
In order to maintain the confidence of all those involved in tourist destinations and the national range of tourist attractions, Turismo de Portugal has created the “Clean & Safe” seal, which distinguishes those tourist activities that guarantee compliance with the hygiene and cleanliness requirements for the prevention and control of Covid-19 and any other infections, in accordance with Department of Health recommendations. This seal covers the whole of the tourism value chain, including hotels, local accommodation, tour operators and restaurant catering companies, golf courses, which at the same time are implementing specific codes of rules for the various types of services.
It’s very important to monitor these measures, conscious that it’s a matter still being considered not only in Portugal, but worldwide.
Turismo de Portugal has recently opened an office in India and have appointed Claudia Matias as director for the Indian market-based in the Portuguese Embassy. So, this is a very strong commitment with two major objectives. First to increase the awareness of Portugal as a tourism destination and the second one is to increase partnerships with different tour operators and travel agencies and create the best conditions for these potential partners to bring more business from India. So, our main objectives are still the same, but with an add on, that Portugal is indeed a safe destination and is prepared for Indian visitors.
The Portuguese Tourism Board has transformed the communication of the tourism destination from #CantSkipPortugal into #CantSkipHope, a message of hope for all, adjusted to the moment of uncertainty that we are living right now.
With this initiative, the Portuguese Tourism board wants to make everyone (tourists, tourism professionals and the Portuguese people) understand that this is the time to pause, refocus and join efforts so that we can move forward.
This is a message to the world, through a film with images that reflect the best of Portugal, the landscapes, the moments, the people and the monuments reminding people what awaits us if we all know to wait.