Portugal’s tourism board, Turismo de Portugal (TP), is hoping to revive interest from Chinese holidaymakers now that the world’s most populous country has emerged from three years of draconian Covid-19 restrictions.
Before the pandemic, in 2019, Portugal welcomed almost 400,000 Chinese visitors, who collectively spent 224 millions euros – 20 percent more than their compatriots did in 2018, according to China-Lusophone Brief.
Lídia Monteiro, the board’s director of marketing, said that TP was now ramping up promotional activity “in a more persistent way so that we can quickly reach the numbers we had in 2019 and even surpass them”.
She was speaking at a recent ceremony to welcome a travel industry delegation from China’s Zhejiang province.
The eastern coastal province of some 57 million people was the source of more than a third of the Chinese tourists who visited Portugal in 2019 – and it is the home province of many Chinese living in Portugal, something that “helps and contributes a lot to mutual understanding and also to boosting business” Monteiro said.
A direct, weekly nonstop flight operates between the provincial capital Hangzhou and Lisbon. Beijing Capital Airlines says it plans to increase the frequency to twice a week to meet anticipated demand.