Portugal remains one of the major holiday destinations in Europe for the Irish market. Jose Ramos, Director of the Portuguese National Tourist Office, in his presentation to a trade evening in Dublin, stressed that new product was emerging for the holidaymaker with walking, wine trails and horse riding topping the list with cultural activities and museums – new and old still being an important part of the mix.
Suppliers from all over Mainland Portugal and Madeira attended the event, supported by Aer Lingus and SATA. Ambassador Bernard Futscher Pereira, together with Jose Ramos, were delighted with the event, the last in a series of events around Ireland working with the travel trade, including Cork, Limerick and Galway during April.
The big news is that the market to Portugal from Ireland was up for 2012, with 2013 figures already looking promising. Over 420,000 people went to Portugal last year, with over 75% of those heading for the Algarve. But numbers to Lisbon and the Lisbon coastal resorts of Estoril and Cascais in particular are also growing, as well as Madeira, and lesser known regions such as Alentejo, Porto and the Douro Valley.
There were lots of happy trade people at the end of the night also, with lots of prizes given away by Aer Lingus, SATA and the many hoteliers who supported these events.
Aer Lingus provided tickets to Lisbon and Faro for two people, and these were won by Laurie Calhoun from the Travel Department and Olga Tyrrell from Abbey Travel.
SATA and Melia Madeira Mare and Vidamar Resorts provided holidays to Madeira.
Michelle Anderson from Topflight won a week to the Solares Hotel and, believe it or not, Marie Doherty, also from Topflight, won a stay in the Pousada de Estay as well as a stay in the Epic Sana Algarve Albufeira.
Other prizes were provided by Marina Club Lagos Resort, Dom Pedro Hotels, Pestana Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Solverde Spa and Wellness Centre, Fatima Hotels and the Praia D’el Rey Marriott Golf and Beach Resort.