European Best Destinations (EBD) is a prestigious organization for selecting the best travel destinations in Europe, the safest (with Portugal always in the spotlight) or, even better, the European Destination of the Year – a trophy that Braga won year, by the way. Millions are looking for goals and lists on their website. A study of user behavior in the last 12 surreal months brought an interesting conclusion: Portugal was the most sought-after country ahead of France and Greece. Will it be data that could help restore it? “At the moment it is a good sign,” said EBD’s top manager Maximilien Lejeune to PUBLIC.
“Our website is visited by more than six million travelers a year”, guarantees EBD when presenting the list based on the surveys carried out on the website. The very first place in Portugal, explains Lejeune, is mainly due to the research of potential travelers from Great Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, but also the USA.
The EBD notes that Portugal already has “many strong targets” known to the tourism industry, tourism professionals, media and tourists. “If Lisbon is the first to appear internationally”, and of course Madeira, too, Porto, Cascais, Sesimbra, Setúbal, Braga, Barcelos, Lagoa or the Azores will be “viewed by tourists as places of obligatory visit”.
“Quality, diversity” are strengths, emphasizes Lejeune and strengthens the segments in which the country excels: rural tourism, gastronomy, beaches, nature, city trips, shopping, wine tourism, cultural and religious tourism. The Portuguese appeal is particularly clear from the information registered in the EBD by Germans, Austrians, Italians, British, North Americans and Spaniards.
“I think it’s more than a trend as it has been like that for many years,” says Lejeune. “I think people already know Portugal better and the more they know, the more they want to travel to the country.”
What is Portugal’s secret of success in this area of notoriety between those who want to discover the country and those who want to return? For Lejeune, on top of everything else, this can be down to “the work of every person, from the baker making delicious bread, appetizing pastries, to the taxi driver, receptionists, guides, grocers and even the people who entertain the public spaces, the green spaces” .
The official, who also referred to Turismo de Portugal and his visit to Portugal, also stressed that the “tourism industry and advertising are much more professional” than that of “some” competitors in Europe. “Portugal is a strong brand” with multiple added value in the specificity of the destinations, be it a “holiday in Aljezur or Lagoa” which “is not the same as a holiday in Douro or Porto”. The country is thus able to score points as a general goal and as an area with several separate sub-goals.
To be at the top of such a list is “a good sign” and a “top” that indicates a “faster recovery” of tourism in 2021/2022 for these travel destinations. “We can see that people are ready to return to Portugal” or to rediscover the country “as soon as” it is possible to make it safe, “concludes Lejeune.
“This ranking shows us that, despite everything that has happened in recent months, tourists are not forgetting Portugal and are happy to return,” commented the President of Turismo de Portugal, Luís Araújo. “And we will be here,” he emphasizes, “as always, to receive them well and safely”.