This article aims to identify the image of Portugal as a tourist destination in international markets and the impacts of the economic crisis on that image. As the basis for the analysis, the results from the past three years of an ongoing research by IPDT – Institute of Tourism on this topic were used. The findings were used to support a discussion on the need for social and political stability and a climate of creativity and innovation in the tourism sector to foster growth and success.
The article is based on official tourism information, research by IPDT on the tourists’ profile in Portugal and an ongoing research on “the image of Portugal as a tourist destination” carried out using as population the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Affiliate Members directory.
The international tourism market recognizes and appreciates the destination – Portugal, recognizing that the present context of crisis does not negatively affect Portugal’s touristic image. The results presented and discussed indicate a preference by respondents for “Wine” as the main touristic product that should be associated to Portugal in its international tourism promotion. This perception is clearly aligned with the prominence that Portuguese wines have been taking internationally and a perspective that indicates alternative products to the traditional “sun and sea” associated with the country’s tourism image.
The research results presented and the supporting discussion allow for a better understanding on the present image of Portugal as a tourist destination and the alternative attributes to traditional “sun and sea” that may be used in its international promotion. These results may indicate the need for a repositioning of the destination by the introduction of new elements in the promotional messages. The reflexions presented may be of great use for decision-makers in-charge of international tourism promotion.
This article analysis the impact of the economic crisis on the image of Portugal as a tourist destination, based on an international study carried out over a 3-year period. The results alert for possible discrepancies between the destinations positioning and the perceptions and desires of the markets.
Montenegro, M., Costa, J., Rodrigues, D. and Gomes, J. (2014), "The image of Portugal as a tourist destination – an international perspective", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 6 No. 5, pp. 397-412. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-09-2014-0022
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