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Porto distinguished for its ‘bleisure’ promotional campaign

Porto distinguished for its ‘bleisure’ promotional campaign

A strategy to counteract the seasonal nature of traditional tourism

Porto and the North of Portugal received some well-deserved recognition recently at the Vegas Movie Awards, a festival for independent cinema in Las Vegas. There, its promotional video for business tourism snatched five categories.

The secret to that was the creative approach to infuse some humour and tongue-in-cheek glamour in what is usually considered a very stuffy sector of the industry. In essence, this aims to put to the fore the ‘bleisure’ approach – a combination of the words ‘business’ and ‘leisure’.

The promotional video in question is over 3 minutes long and is called “The Majestic Adventures of Ofelia de Souza”, featuring the advice of an experienced and extravagant event organizer and epicurean who wants her business trip not to make her ‘die of boredom’ and not be a ‘big pain in the back’.

Many people don’t even think of business travel as tourism, but this shows a different lens

Since “time is money”, the short film starts counting time at the clock in the Clerics Tower of Porto. The story takes the protagonist on boat trips along the Douro River, discovering Serralves' TreeTop Walk, feeding social networks at Casa da Música or recognizing the splendour of Livraria Lello and the flavour of a francesinha (the city’s traditional dish). Porto and the North appear in the campaign as a “stage to meet the needs and ambitions” of those who travel here for work.

"All of the character's costumes and interactions refer to products and spaces that represent the region's design, culture, industry and fashion in a film that aims to show that the destination has the necessary skills to organize large events, or exclusive events, opening the range for the great diversity of the tourist offer oriented to this sector”, explained Turismo do Porto e Norte, the entity in charge of managing tourism to the region.

What is clear from this is that the main city doesn’t intend to take all the spotlight to itself, but instead tries to deflect some of it to its surrounding region. This is a strategy that can help visitors discover lesser-known and more rural places.

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