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Portugal, a MICE destination that is waiting to be discovered and rediscovered by Indian clients


MICE tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of the Indian outbound travel market and, based on pre-pandemic figures, Portugal is looking forward to attracting and hosting, and continuing to show their event organisers skills. Claudia Matias, Director, Visit Portugal, India, believes that though nearby destinations will probably benefit the most from the Indian MICE market, however with travel resuming and with increasing traveller trust and flexibility, the same will happen with long-haul destinations in Europe, such as Portugal in the medium term.

Prashant Nayak

India is a promising growing market and Visit Portugal is capitalising on India’s outbound MICE sector. As Indians are now travelling abroad for work all year, they expect the corporate MICE trend to continue to rise. In recent times, they have seen significant growth in MICE to Portugal from India. They also witnessed significant growth in the number of travellers arriving from India for business travel in 2021 and 2022, underlining the importance of the India market to Portugal.

“Portugal is the MICE destination that is waiting to be discovered and rediscovered by Indian clients. There are many interesting facts about Portugal. As a country of strategic location with connections over the world, Portugal has become an ideal place to travel, live, study, work and invest. We recently launched a motivational teaser, especially aimed at the meetings industry, which highlights the key characteristics and potential of the country, as a destination for corporate and associative events. Our events industry plays a vital role in our tourism strategy since it contributes to seasonal and regional tourism spread across the country. The video is available on the Visit Portugal YouTube channel. The teaser can be viewed and shared with all stakeholders,” informs Claudia.

Visit Portugal also has a website dedicated solely to MICE tourism, in order to provide the most up-to-date information to the travel sector, where it’s possible to request directly a proposal directly to their team.

Portugal is one of the powerful players in the global MICE market in terms of infrastructure, network, and accessibility. They have a strategic location with well-served air connections to the main outbound markets, and Lisbon is an international hub to America, Africa, and Europe. The country offers concentrated diversity all at a short distance, ranks second in road system quality and eleventh in the ground transport network. They have five mainland international harbours too. Portugal is a safe and stable country with 900 years of history and UNESCO World Heritage classifications, highly appreciated gastronomy and wines, and world-class hospitality offering a good quality/price ratio. They have the Best European Golf Destinations, with 91 golf courses. Their venues can be an 18th-century palace with 50 seats, a modern museum with a capacity for 250 guests, or a multi-purpose arena capable of hosting thousands of participants.

Adding to this, Claudia says, “Portugal is a country of seven contrasting regions with an amazing culture and heritage, diversity and inclusiveness, warm hospitality and mild weather. With over 300 days of sunshine each year and services and infrastructure that equal the best and most modern in Europe, it’s easy to see why large worldwide businesses are flocking to Portugal.”

Portugal is certainly an excellent choice for MICE events for an array of reasons. The country has been proving itself as a major event organiser, such as hosting the Web Summit, Europe’s biggest tech conference. The country also has amazing conditions to host smaller events, such as business meetings or commercial presentations. This diversity is only possible because of a wide range of highly qualified companies and professionals, as well as a diverse range of quality venues and hotels and multiple international air routes.

“One can have great local experiences in Portugal from our, cuisine and amazing wine tourism experiences, nature, and landscapes to enjoy in a balloon ride, golden beaches with amazing sunsets, water sports, surf spots, dolphin and whale watching, UNESCO heritage and history, monuments, medieval castles, cobblestone villages, for cultural tours. Our cities, besides the trendiness, the Michelin restaurants offering are a must-try. Portugal is also a wonderful tax-free shopping destination with a 23 per cent VAT return. They can club many experiences in our amazing golf courses, for example at the Algarve Motorsports Park. This complex, the tracks, and the facilities provide one of the best motorsport experiences in the world. The options are endless,” assures Claudia.

Portugal now welcomes all visitors, regardless of the country of origin or purpose of travel. Visitors arriving on mainland Portugal from India will be required to present the following documents as a mandate and no quarantine will be obligatory upon arrival. The document includes a negative RT-PCR Test (or similar NAAT test) – 72 hours before boarding, or a negative Laboratorial Rapid Antigen Test- 24h before boarding (according to the European Commission list). Children under 12 do not need to present certificates or tests.