The main objective of Turismo de Portugal, for the Chinese market, “is to increase the length of stay of tourists in Portugal and encourage travel throughout the country, in addition to Lisbon”.

Lídia Monteiro, Director of Sales and Marketing at Turismo de Portugal, made this statement when welcoming the delegation from the Province of Zhejiang, within the framework of an event to promote cultural tourism in that Chinese region in Portugal, “after such a long period without any face-to-face contact because of the pandemic”, according to a report by Publituris.

The head of Turismo de Portugal added that “we are pleased to know that China can finally resume international travel for leisure reasons and following the recent announcement by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Portugal was included in the list of countries that are authorised and can receive Chinese tourists”, out of a total of 60 countries.

Importance of Zhejiang

Zhejiang, according to Lídia Monteiro, is the Chinese province that brings the most tourists to Portugal. Incidentally, the head of the Chinese delegation, the first-level inspector of the Department of Culture and Tourism in that region of China, Liu He, pointed out that 35 percent of the Chinese who visited our country in 2019 are from Zhejiang Province.

“One of the main contributions to bringing the two countries closer is the direct flight between Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, on the east coast of China, and Lisbon, which is operated by Beijing Capital Airlines”, said the director of Turismo de Portugal, adding that the airline announced very recently that it would now increase air connectivity to two direct weekly flights, thus connecting the two cities in just 13 hours, on Thursdays and Saturdays, without a stopover.

Lídia Monteiro recalled that a large part of the Chinese community living in Portugal is from the Province of Zhejiang, “which helps and contributes a lot to mutual understanding and also to boosting business. We hope that today is another opportunity to strengthen these ties and cultural exchange between our two countries, which have a history of cooperation and friendship for over 500 years”.

Boosting numbers

The head of Turismo de Portugal stressed to Publituris that “even during the pandemic period, whenever there were promotion initiatives within the Chinese territory on tourism, Portugal was present. Our market delegation in Shanghai was always in contact with the operators, of course with the limitations we are aware of. At the moment we are starting our activity in a more persistent way so that we can quickly reach the numbers we had in 2019 and even surpass them”.

Regarding the reasons for traveling to Portugal, the official highlighted that “there is a very great cultural affinity, therefore, historical and cultural connections are of interest to the Chinese, they are also consumers of purchases of international brands, but also of Portuguese brands, an aspect which is very interesting, besides enjoying getting to know our landscapes and our nature”.