For the first time in the history of the “Tourism Oscars” World Travel Awards, Portugal has won the title of leading destination.
Following on from Best European Destination glory clinched in October, the country has literally hit the glass ceiling.
As well as taking World’s Leading Destination 2017, Portugal has been distinguished for having the best tourist board (Turismo de Portugal) with the best official tourism site (www.visitportugal.com), reports RTP following the awards ceremony over the weekend in Phu Quoc, Vietnam.
And then there are the ‘best’ individual categories, like World’s Leading City Break Destination (Lisbon), World’s Leading Conservation Company (Parques de Sintra), World’s Leading Islands Destination (Madeira) and World’s Leading Luxury Leisure Resort (Pine Cliffs, Algarve).
Said Secretary of State for Tourism Ana Mendes Godinho, the success marks a “unique moment for tourism in Portugal”, “recognition for the work that has been developed over the years by everyone connected to tourism”.
But it is also “recognition of the country we have. An authentic, innovative country that knows how to reinvent itself, and brings together a huge variety of experiences and landscapes”.
Portugal combines history, tradition, sun, Nature and gastronomy with a cosmopolitan twist that makes it attractive to everyone, she said.
Now, the way forwards is simply to continue to show “all the diversity that Portugal has to offer”.
Luís Araújo, the jubilant president of Turismo de Portugal stressed that this was the first time also that Portugal has won “prizes of global distinction” - a major motivation to continue consolidating on objectives to keep Portugal at the top of all choices for touristic excellence.
World Travel Awards have been running since 1993. They are chosen by the ‘public in general’, explains RTP, and “more than 200,000 tourism professionals from 160 countries”.