Portugal eyes C&I with regional CVBs

Portugal is looking to pull in more C&I business by launching three regional convention bureaus. Estoril and Sintra, Madeira, and the Algarve are all aiming to pull in groups through dedicated convention bureaus. The Estoril Coast Tourism Board launched the Estoril & Sintra Convention Bureau early this year. It maintains the C&I market accounts for 50% of the total overnight stays in the region and 65% of overall tourism revenue. Helena Pereira has been appointed executive director of the bureau, which will incorporate the public and private sectors and work closely with the neighbouring Lisbon Convention Bureau. Pereira said: “We have been building up the C&I business in the region and now have some great venues and facilities to shout about.” The launch of the Madeira Incentives & Convention Association Bureau has been earmarked for 2004. “We postponed the launch of the convention bureau to give us time to update and extend the airport so we could cope with more C&I traffic,” explained Madeira Tourism technical adviser of the Minister of Tourism and Culture for Congresses and Incentives Maria da Graca Luis. The Algarve Convention Bureau launched late last year and now has 45 members. It is currently setting up its marketing strategy for this year, which is expected to have a budget of more than £1.5m. Among the new products it will promote are four additional golf courses and a marina.

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