The Government is “working in a very focused way” on wine tourism “since 2019 and we can already say that 10 percent of those who visited Portugal in recent years, before the pandemic, came exclusively with reasons associated with wine”, said Rita Marques.
Portugal is "one of the few European countries" that has "an action plan" specific to wine tourism and the investment in this sector "is a path" that the country is "treading", stressed the Secretary of State.
At the closing of the 5th Global Conference on Wine Tourism promoted by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Rita Marques assured that this event marks the country's "commitment" to continue "working on this agenda”.
The Secretary of State for Tourism recalled that the national action plan for wine tourism has “four major dimensions”, starting with the 'terroir', that is, “for working with the territories with the 14 wine committees, distributed over seven regions”.
"Then, working on the quality of the product to be appreciated by the tourist", she said, adding that "the training and qualification of people is also very important", as well as "the promotion and continuous addition in the value chain”.
And sustainability, a matter in which tourism “has played an important role, because it has assumed a very strong leadership”, must “be part of the DNA” in Portugal.
Recalling that “many” of the 14 Portuguese wine regions develop their activity in rural and interior territories, the secretary of state warned that, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, wine tourism in these regions could benefit.
“The reasons for traveling have changed slightly, we are all looking for places where we can be a little more isolated from the hustle and bustle of the cities”, and there is “a greater appetite for tasting local products, whether food or wine,” she said.
And it is necessary to “provide products, but also experiences and diversity” to visitors, because Portugal has to ensure that visitors can “stay longer”, in a bid to increase the average night’s stay up from 2.7 as it currently stands.