Noticing that business travel, group and event travel to Portugal seem to be growing at a fast rate for both the corporate business markets and the private event planners. We decided to explain certain aspects of group travel to Portugal that could be important for you when you plan such an occasion.
Why would you organize your event in Portugal
What makes Portugal so uniquely suitable for small, medium and large events?
For one the Portuguese climate. Portugal has a warm Mediterranean climate with on average 6 hours of sun per day. Its winters are mild and wet Its summers warm but cooled by pleasant sea breazes. Winters are relatively short whereas summers are relatively long.
Accessibility Portugal has 3 main airports spread strategically throughout the country. In the North, Porto is its main entry point, In the centre Lisbon, its capital has the main airport and south in the Algarve, Faro, the Algarvian capital, has the main airport. (*note Madeira and Azores also have airports and also are Portugal, we will be covering them soon also) All airports as of 2015 offer budget airlines as well as first class and business class travel.
The roads are structured by the national highway plan of 2000 and in 2014-15 they where considered the best in Europe and second best in the world by World Economic Forum in its Global Competiveness Report of the same years.
From the main cities public transport networks provide transport throughout the entire country but are best around the coastline and to the main internal cities.
People visiting Portugal by cruise traffic is a fast growing new form of tourism mainly in Lisbon which is currently building a new cruise terminal right in the cities heart.
Cost Portugal is one of the cheapest European travel destination. Its prices for accommodation, restaurants and activities are well below the European average whereas in many cases the quality offered much above.
Heritage, landscapes, Monuments, Leisure activities, sports, gastronomy and wine, Portugal has a very diverse offer which can appeal to a very large group of tourism consumers with different preferences, budget and expectations.
Niches in tourism to Portugal
Adventure and active travel due to its climate, diverse landscapes and the long coastline, Portugal is particularly suited to active adventurous travel and there are many expert and licensed adventurers providing top quality sports in safe environments. From paragliding to surf, canyoneering, mountain climbing, biking, horse riding, boat activities and diving, almost anything you can think of is possible in Portugal.
Wine tourism The wine sector of Portugal is growing fast in recognition and Portugal produces many exceptional wines, that have been awarded internationally on many occasions.
The booming wine industry has created a new niche for travel, activities and accommodation on its wonderful wine manor house farms. Originally Portugal was home to the first Iberian vines and to this day it still produces wines based on unique processes and it is home to the only remaining fully European grape, the Ramisco grape.
Rural tourism Portugal shares a common problem with most of southern Europe and that is Urbanization and rural flight. Many villages have been abandoned or are almost empty, the land is no longer worked and mechanized processes have made agriculture less human resourceful, this has opened perspectives for a new type of tourism, namely rural tourism in which the Portuguese government has invested with an eye to sustainability.
This has given birth to many amazing getaway retreats along the coast and in the mountainous landscapes of Central and Northern regions.
Cultural and heritage tourism with its incredible and rich history Portugal has been left with a high number of amazing heritage sites many of them Unesco recognized. It organizes many famous world known festivals and events and many local, traditional and lesser known events, from gastronomy to music, rural traditions, modern trends and wine.
Luxury tourism The last few years have given rise to many luxury hotels both 4 and 5 star and luxury resorts.
In 2015, this trend was topped by the Asian chain, 6 senses, which opened its first European resort in the Douro Valley.
Even before it opened, it had already managed full occupancy for the first 4 months after opening its doors to the public.
The Wellness and ecotourism markets With its clean waters, many nature reserves and healthy low pollution air, nature, natural thermes and springs, Portugal lends itself perfectly for health related travel and it has many possibilities in almost every price range to accommodate this type of travel.
Ecotourism and eco awareness are becoming more and more prominent in Portugal, which is already a leader in sustainable energy, and eco awareness has also reached the luxury market creating new forms of sustainability that could inspire the rest of the world.
Background and history of tourism in Portugal
Portugal has always been a favourite destination for many uk travellers. Lord Byron raved about his love for the country specifically the Sintra hills already in 1809, he spent much time there but so did many other English travellers always having had a special bond with Portugal declared in commercial treaties over the centuries that go back as far as 1373 and the port wine treaty of 1703 which brought many English traders to the Oporto region. In recent years Portugal has grown its tourism market exponentially under the guidance of the government agency Turismo de Portugal who have achieved, with great success, most of the goals set out to conquer the financial adversity that has been affecting the European tourism markets in the last few years.
Portugal has been winning many awards as best European travel destination and was chosen number 1 getaway among travel consumers various times in 2013, 2014 and 2015
The business and event travel markets are also picking up this trend at growing speed and more and more venues are capable and prepared to host larger groups and customized requests.
Taking into consideration
When it comes to group travel, depending of the size of the group and the type of events planned there are just a few things to take into consideration
Necessary Licenses for public events. For specific, larger events in public spaces, licenses will need to be requested.
Many small companies provide the best leisure activities but have limited capacity, generally its better to combine different activities when group sizes become to big.
Distance and accessibility of its best retreats. Travelling to rural retreats can be time consuming if the connections are not optimal, its always best to inform first, 40km on a bad road can take 3 times the time to arrive, than if you where doing the same distance on a good road.
Language. Even though most professional workers in Portugal will have at least a reasonable level of English, the average taxi driver, person on the street or supermarket assistance may not.
Types of events.
Portugal has many niche travel markets that can cater to all kinds of needs and requests.
Offsite events or awayday / weekend events also known as offsite retreats are perfect in Portugal thanks to its many retreat locations, manor house farms, wine hotels, entire villages rehabilitated for tourism and luxury resorts either close to its 3 main airports or hidden in its beautiful landscapes, Portugal has many possibilities.
Team building events for corporations and groups. What is better for any team than to go out together, challenged by nature, overcoming odds, working together to make reality happen before returning to a hot shower and a good meal to discuss the events of the day in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Corporate events events on location, transfers, catering and marketing.
Private events for celebrations.
We hope we’ve managed to convince you to plan your next event in Portugal, for further information, please contact us.
Go Discover Portugal are a group of experienced event travel and business travel organizers based in Portugal, fluent in 5 languages with experience in groups of up to 300 participants. We work for corporations, film and tv sectors, travel agents, organizations government and non- government and private groups of 8 participants upwards.
We are specialised in customized travel planning services.
Go Discover Portugal is an online magazine providing independent and objective articles about Portugal and a customized travel planning service run by real people using experience, Portugal knowledge, corporate backgrounds, computers, cars and telephones
Would you like to know more about how we can help you planning any event or business trip to Portugal? Call 00351 918354714 or use our contact form below.