Portugal United: 10,000 people later
The idea came up nearly 10 years ago from the need to strengthen the external promotion of the Portuguese Meetings Industry (MI) product. The founders of this platform, Citur (DMC), Vip Hotels and Dom Pedro Hotels, then began to share the effort of joint presentations, especially in markets where entities such as Turismo de Portugal (Tourism of Portugal) or national convention bureaux are not so present. Moreover, Portugal United never wanted to compete with these actions, but to complement them.
Thus, every year, the group of companies, that só far has grown up to the current 12, discusses and approves a four presentation plan in markets such as Brazil, Russia, UK, France, Switzerland, Spain, Colombia, Poland and Czech Republic. The four to five companies that on average participate in each of these actions present themselves with a common image under the Portugal United umbrella and develop networking sessions, cocktails, individual and destination presentations, roadshows, also according to the market characteristics of the country in question. These presentations have an annual audience of around 1,000 people.
In addition to the hotel sector, other companies have been joining Portugal United, including tourist entertainment. They also have the strategic partnership of TAP, which is in charge of airline tickets.
This informal platform was the answer found by some Portuguese companies facing the need to further promote the MI segment and showcase the country as a whole, a country that, despite its differences, has an offer that complements itself. Portugal United is also a case of coopetition (cooperation + competition), proof that the union is strength.
The annual budget is around 100,000 euros, and the feedback has been largely positive, they guarantee. So much that they intend to increase the number of events they organise, and some news is already promised for November: a Portugal United dinner during IBTM World, in Barcelona.