Spotlight on Portugal

Representatives from Visit Portugal and 25 Portuguese tourism partners were in Toronto yesterday (April 6) for round table sessions to meet with travel agents, tour operators and buyers.

“We started in Vancouver and that was really exciting because that was the first time ever there had been a Visit Portugal event in Vancouver,” William Delgado, country manager, Canada, for the Portuguese National Tourist Office, told PressToday. “We had a very good reaction and very good turn out there as well.”

Portugal saw 15.5 million visitors in 2015, including 155,000 Canadians, which marks a 17% increase from the previous year. Overall Canada is the 11th most important market for the destination.

“We’re looking to hit about 180,000 or so [Canadian visitors] in 2016,” he added. “We’re growing, we’re growing quite well.”

He credits the increase in Canadian arrivals in part to airline partners such as Air Canada rouge, Air Transat and Azores Airlines – recently rebranded from SATA Airlines – not only in terms of service, but also by promoting the country in advertising and marketing campaigns.

Vijay Bathija, vice-president commercial at Air Canada Leisure Group, was also on hand to announce service expansion to Portugal via Air Canada rouge, which is increasing to six weekly flights.

The road show wraps up today in Montreal.

Pictured at the Toronto event are (l-r) Bathija, Marina Laureano, product manager at Visit Portugal/Turismo de Portugal, and Delgado.