Portugal is set to revise its tourism strategies, as National Strategic Plan for Tourism (PENT) is currently being assessed, and is likely to include smaller growth targets for tourism. PENT contains strategies for the tourism sector right through to 2015 and its aim is to promote the development and commercialisation of tourism products within the country.
However previous growth targets were far too ambitious and new strategies include methods to sell empty properties and hotels currently available on the property market. PENT is to work alongside tourism operators and airlines to help promote Portugal, and will try to ensure sufficient air routes are provided.
The tourism industry in Portugal has concentrated on traditional markets including the British and Spanish, but visitor numbers from these countries have declined significantly since the beginning of the financial crisis. New strategies are likely to concentrate on emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, Poland, India, China and Canada, as it is felt that visitors from these countries are likely to generate more revenue for the property market as well as for the tourism market.
One of the things that sparked these revisions is the downturn suffered by the tourism industry since the beginning of 2012, as it has been particularly marked this year. It is likely these revisions will include an emergency plan for the Algarve that will allow financial support mechanisms for new investment into businesses as well as the creation of training schemes. Several large resorts in the Algarve are seeing a worsening in seasonal demand, and unemployment rates are currently quite high. These are issues that will hopefully be addressed by these revised plans.