Tourism: Challenges for the Future!

Welcome @ ATS
27 de May, 2019
Ana Mendes Godinho at Sintra

This theme was discussed at the II Extraordinary Meeting of the Strategic Business Council, on March 20, 2019, and was attended by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Dr. Ana Mendes Godinho.

The Strategic Business Council, promoted by the Sintra City Council and made up of representatives of several companies in the region, public entities, universities, and of which ATS is also a permanent member, were present at Palácio Valenças.

Ana Godinho presented interesting numbers regarding the tourism evolution in recent years, as well as the number of guests (24.8 M) in 2018, of which 60% are foreign, as well as the revenue generated.

She stressed that the strategy of the tourism sector drawn up until 2027 is based on three pilars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental.

The economic aspect mirrors an alignment between the number of overnight stays and the increase of revenues.

At the social level, the main concern is the qualification of HR in tourism. There were 100 thousand jobs created in tourism, and the increased need for adjustment of training skills in tourism schools and vocational training centers. Increasing the level of education is a national goal.

Environmental sustainability, reflected in the correct management of energy, water and waste, presents interesting ratios, as more than 60% of companies in 2017 showed good environmental management practices.

In 2017, Portugal had the lowest seasonality index ever, with 36%.

The goal is "Tourism throughout the Year", and to achieve this, the campaign "Can’t Skip Portugal" was launched.

The Secretary of State for Tourism highlighted the international awards that have given us a lot of international notoriety and have helped us to achieve the goals proposed.

In a firm and eloquent way, she stated "We do not want nor do we have the profile to be a destination of mass tourism". We must pave the way for a sustainable development.

Ana Godinho leaves us with a very clear message of her vision for Portugal as a destination:

Extracted from Ana Godinho’s presentation “Can´t skip Portugal”.

Her focus and concern in presenting the country as an entity, but with diversity,so that all geographical areas of Portugal are an attraction.
She stressed the importance of digital channels and the challenge of professionalizing the image and platforms. She also asked that the execution be made in a very professional way, emphasizing the work developed in the Nature Tourism and Religious platforms, etc. The importance of all of us being together, as a country and economic agent, transversally.

And Sintra? What is our reality?

Ana Godinho used the Google search and showed the image of the Palácio da Pena and the "short day trip to Lisbon". This is the big challenge and a concern.

How do we maintain the visitors? How do we increase the average stay? How do we convert day trips to overnight? How do we communicate diversity?

Extracted from Ana Godinho’s presentation “Can´t skip Portugal”.

Ana Godinho was very direct in her analysis, showed us ways, in the form of challenges for Sintra.

We felt very grateful and honoured with her presence in the Strategic Business Council, it was an unforgettable presentation!

Irene Figueiredo