Portugal capitalises on 2004 soccer finals

The Portuguese Tourist Office (ICEP) has launched a dedicated C&I newsletter to keep UK buyers abreast of the developments taking place in Portugal for the Euro 2004 Championships. Director of tourism at ICEP in London, Jose Preto da Silva, said that around 1,500 copies would be sent out from the beginning of February to targeted meetings organisers, the majority agency-based. The initiative is part of Portugal’s strategy to maximise the effect of the football championships to generate additional MICE business. "We hope visitors to the Games will return to use the facilities built for the event – such as two new stadiums in Lisbon – for corporate conferences or association conventions," said Preto da Silva. As well as new facilities, tourism authorities hope the tournament will lead participants to discover what they are calling the "hidden treasures" of Portugal. "Our destination offers locations currently not well known by the UK market, but which are well suited to group travel," commented Preto da Silva, citing as specific examples Coimbra and Braga – two of the cities where the games will take place.

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