Tuesday, 06 Dec 2022

Visit Portugal President Discusses Tourism Recovery, Attracting US Travelers

A TravelPulse Q&A with Luis Araújo, president of VisitPortugal.


Visit Portugal President Discusses Tourism Recovery, Attracting US Travelers

The Portuguese National Tourism Board, more widely known as VisitPortugal, is celebrating what Luis Araújo, the group's president, is calling the country's best-ever year in terms of tourism. Portugal's rebounding visitor arrivals come only two years after pandemic shutdowns crippled the country's crucial tourism industry.

American travelers have been at the forefront of the tourism rebound. The 1.1 million U.S. visitors Portugal drew in all of 2019 has already been reached in 2022.

Now VisitPortugal is doubling down on the country's growing popularity with U.S. vacationers, working with key travel advisors and tour operators and increasing its marketing of the country in several U.S. cities.

This past week, Visit Portugal partnered with Madame Tussauds Wax Museum to unveil a life-sized statue of Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo in Times Square, New York. The event brought perhaps Portugal's most recognized global figure to the attention of travelers in the country's largest city.

During the unveiling, video and images of Portugal's multiple environments, from lush forests and coastal areas to historic Lisbon, played over every electronic billboard in the famous "Crossroads of the World." The life-like statue is now on display at the Wax Museum.

We spoke with Araújo about the unveiling, the Times Square billboard takeover and VisitPortugal's campaign to further expand its U.S. visitor base.

TP: What is the tourism message behind the Cristiano Ronaldo statue unveiling?

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