Portugal won for the first time the prize for best European destination of the World Travel Awards, the ‘Oscars of Tourism’, at a ceremony held on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Present at the ceremony, Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, commented that receiving this unprecedented distinction “is an honor and a great pride” and shows that “the whole country is an incredible asset and a reason to visit.”
For the governor, the prize is the result of the “commitment of all to make Portugal a tourist destination of excellence, with a diversity of unique offer and that extends throughout the territory.”
Being the country to win this prize is a clear indication that we are on the right track, the one that shows the diversity we have to offer, from north to south, from the coast to the interior, “he added.
In addition to Portugal, Austria, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey were nominated for the prize.
In this ceremony, Portugal was the country that received the most awards, “30% of the total”, according to information from the Secretary of State. The country collected 37 ‘oscars’, 13 more than in 2016.
These recognitions “bring the added responsibility of always continuing to qualify our destinations, our offer, our human resources and innovate to ensure we are up to the demands of an increasingly sophisticated and demanding demand,” added Ana Mendes Godinho.
In the ceremony, Turismo de Portugal, for the fourth consecutive time, was elected the best official European tourism body.
Luís Araújo, president of Turismo de Portugal, expressed the “enormous pride” of the distinction for a “body that is only ten years old.”
If Turismo de Portugal enjoys unparalleled reputation and reputation today, it is due to all those who daily strive to overcome challenges and to overcome records, bearing in mind a common goal: to lead the tourism of the future, “he said.
“This is undoubtedly also a recognition of our tourism strategy and the good results that the sector has been achieving year after year. It is not by chance that the Portuguese example is already considered an international case study, “Luís Araújo concluded.
The port of Lisbon was also voted “Best Cruise Port in Europe”, for the quality of services and the infrastructure available to tourists who visit and stop in the city.
This distinction contributes to a better positioning of the Port of Lisbon at European level and is the recognition of the results of the bet on the promotion of Lisbon as a destination of cruises, which very proud and motivates us to continue to promote the tourist excellence of the Portuguese capital, said Paula Oliveira, executive director of Turismo de Lisboa, in a statement.
Last year, 522 thousand cruise tourists passed through the Lisbon wharf, of which 472 thousand were in transit.
World Travel was created in 1993 and the selection of nominees is performed worldwide by thousands of industry professionals.