Panel One of the IPBN Tourism Conference

Experts look toward the future

In light of the recent statement from The Secretary of State for Tourism, Commerce and Services, Rita Marques, the tourism record in July has been classified as the best month ever in terms of number of guests and overnight stays, and is a reflection of the country's competitiveness, according to the media partner of the upcoming IPBN Tourism Conference, TNews.

The publication writes, “According to quick estimates from the National Statistics Institute (INE), released on Wednesday, compared to July 2019, the pre-pandemic month, there were 6.3% increases in guests in July and 4.8% in overnight stays.” 

This shows the tourism sector is an essential engine in the national economy once more. In fact, the INE estimate records 3,029,100 guests and 8,628,400 overnight stays in tourist accommodation in July, compared to 1,633,800 guests in July 2021 (up 85.4%) and 4,538,600 overnight stays (up 90%). Of the total overnight stays, over 2,906,000 were from residents, 9.1% more than in July 2021, and over 5,722,000 from non-residents, translating to a year-on-year growth of 205.2%.

Armed with these figures, the IPBN has pulled together a panel of experts in the tourism sector to discuss what the next steps will be to keep these numbers up, and potentially, growing. 

Luís Rodrigues, CEO of Sata Air Azores Group since January 2020 not only operates the regional airline of the Portuguese archipelago, but is also the Adjunct Professor of Business Strategy at Nova School of Business and Economics. His career started at Procter & Gamble in the Marketing area in Portugal, Austria, Belgium, and European head offices, translating into leadership positions in several different industries like Media, Telecoms, and Advertising in local companies. Between 2009 and 2014, he was Executive Board Member at TAP Portugal airline, in Portugal and Brazil in business turnaround / restructuring and growth development initiatives. In 2015, he took over the role of leading Nova SBE Executive Education, taking the school to #1 position in Portugal for the first time ever, a rank held ever since. Luis holds a B.A. in Economics (1988) and an MBA (1990) from Nova SBE, the Advanced Management Program from the Harvard Business School (2003) and Executive Education at the Cranfield School of Engineering.

Joining Luis on the panel will be Francisco Teixeira, general director of Melair which represents Royal Caribbean International in the Portuguese market. He told the media that the company will receive five new cruise ships by 2024, as numbers continue to grow despite the pandemic's adverse effects on the industry. As the lines roam from port to port across the globe, Francisco believes that in the post-pandemic landscape, “cruises have an advantage because the hotel is mobile and can go wherever the opportunity arises. And now we have a set of protocols that…have been developed and implemented.” His expertise on the oceans will surely deepen the conversation!

Panelist Chitra Stern is the recipient of the prestigious Deloitte Institute “Accomplished Entrepreneur Award” at the London Business School, “Person of the Year” Award by the International Family Travel Association and the “Family Traveler Award” for special contribution to the Family Travel Market. She is an Electronic Engineer, Chartered Accountant, and MBA (London Business School). Aside from being on the Committee of Portugal IN to further enhance Foreign Direct Investment into Portugal, Chitra is also an invited professor for Luxury Marketing at the Nova School of Business and Economics and is the incoming President of the Entrepreneurs Organization in Portugal. As owner and founding board member of Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts, Chitra is a passionate entrepreneur and real-estate & hotel developer in Portugal, having recently added a hotel residence in Lisbon to the brand as well as opening the American-based Curriculum United Lisbon International School in September 2020.

John Bergin, Director of Skytours, will also be joining the panel. He describes Skytours as a High Street and online travel company specializing in leisure travel, discounted flights, cruises, and group travel. The smaller tour agency gives customers personalized service, expert travel advice, and super-low fares on flights, car rentals, hotel reservations, package vacations, fly & drives, and more. John also founded Golfbreaks.ie based in Dublin, Ireland as part of the Skytours family of great value holiday brands in 1988. As a keen golfer and leader of a knowledgeable staff, John and his company offer golfers across Ireland and Europe the best in golfing holidays in over 200 venues throughout Europe.

Registration for the upcoming IPBN Tourism Conference event is open, so to get more information and register, click here!