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Tourism is not dead yet – Part 1

Porto is already looking towards the future with a new promotional strategy

  • Πέμπτη 24 Σεπτέμβριος 2020 20:30:00 EEST
  • Author Tzvetozar Vincent Iolov
Medium porto 4

This was a tough summer inside a tough year. We have been surrounded by news about closed borders, cancelled trips and PCR tests, all of which have soured many a vacation. But is this the end of tourism as we know it? Have local governments thrown the towel in the face of the coronavirus relentlessness?

In two articles we will explore what some of the municipalities and regional governments in two of Europe’s most visited countries are doing. For example, just yesterday Porto authorities have announced that they are launching a new audio-visual campaign with 22 videos to promote their city to the domestic and international tourists in what is a clear sign of confidence about the future of tourism in these gloomy times.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many would a video be worth?

Porto has earned its colours on the global tourism scene, what with winning Best European Destination in 2012, 2014 and 2017. But this year knew no bounds, no obstacles and the pandemic that engulfed the globe left local authorities scratching their heads and gasping for air practically everywhere.

The northern Portuguese city was no exception. It was reported that its revenue from tourist tax fell by a whopping 80% when compared to 2019. Yet, the City Council is determined to double down and continue investing and counting on tourism to remain one of the municipality’s economic engines.

The experts there are aware that the tourist mind is fickle, and memories can be short, so they are not relying on old glory but are instead busy gradually launching a series of videos. These will present different aspects of Porto and its many faces.

The city knows its unique strengths and wants to showcase them for curious viewers. It will take two years to produce and release all of the planned 22 videos, but two of them are already out and you can see them on YouTube.

Porto’s history is intimately linked with food and wine and that is what "Restauração e Vinhos" (Gastronomy and Wines) - the kind of morsel that seduces the viewer with its visuals – alludes to in reaffirming local pride and exceptionality.

Beckoning tourists only with food, however, would be insufficient and reductive. Then there comes “Artesanato” (Handicrafts) which reminds would-be visitors that there is another enigmatic face to the city worth exploring.

Delectable bites and sips are just some of the aspects that make up the character of Porto. Source: Porto Municipality 

And these are only the first 2 pieces of the puzzle which Porto authorities have decided to release to the public until 2022. Next year will see the release of ten additional videos which will treat themes, such as architecture, accommodation, cinematography and traditional stores.

For 2022 ten more videos are promised. Some of their titles: “The Hidden Side of Porto”, “Urban Art”, “Nightlife”, “Sports”, “Accessibility” and “Research Centres”.

Knowing that people today love to follow a good TV series, the Porto tourism experts have decided to use this cultural phenomenon of addiction. The difference being that what is viewed on the screen can also be lived in real life and that is what they are hoping to inspire.



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