Assessed as "strategic" for national tourism, the United States of America (USA) market has attracted more and more North Americans to Portugal, either for tourism or to settle in the country.
"The North American market is very important for Portugal, particularly in terms of tourism. It is already the fourth largest source of tourists for Portugal and the market that has grown the most in this sector. In addition, the conclusion that can be drawn is that the North Americans choose Portugal not only to visit, but also to live", Nuno Fazenda told Lusa.
Taking this growth into account, the Secretary of State is in the North American capital to invest even more in promoting Portugal, in an agenda full of events, ranging from cooperation with the George Washington University, to participation in the Financial Times Weekend Festival, where Portugal is a guest country.
The agenda started on Friday at the George Washington University, where Fazenda gave an open class to the academic community, sector professionals and businessmen, and where he presented the strategy, potential and investments that Portugal has been making in the tourism sector.
Today, the Secretary of State will be at the Financial Times Weekend Festival, an event that will feature the presence and interventions of various personalities, including former US presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, author Salman Rushdie and actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
This will be, according to Fazenda, a platform to showcase Portuguese tourism to opinion leaders, tour operators and travel agents in the North American market.
In this sense, Portugal will invest, among others, in wine tourism and literary tourism.
"It is a prestigious festival and we are going to be present, not only in what is the debate in terms of themes that mark the present time, but we are also going to make our tourist offer known. In this context, we will also have a focus on wine tourism, promotion of our wines. We will have a tasting of Portuguese wines and we will have Jancis Robinson, one of the world's leading wine critics, commenting on our wines", indicated the Secretary of State.
"We will also have our exhibition space, in which we will make Portugal known as a whole, but also literary tourism in which Fernando Pessoa and José Saramago will be writers of choice to enhance this type of tourism", he added.
Also within the scope of promoting cultural tourism, the Secretary of State will meet with the Smithsonian Museum, to explore forms of cooperation around the common history between the two countries related to the African diaspora and its influences.
"The aim is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and approach, promoting a deeper understanding of the cultural heritage shared between Portugal and the United States", according to the executive.
With a focus on expanding and strengthening its presence and notoriety in the North American market, Portugal has been strengthening air connectivity between the two countries.
According to Nuno Fazenda, there are already 137 weekly flights connecting Portugal to the United States in the summer.
"It is very important to have these air connections, which have already been reinforced compared to 2019 and which involve leading airlines. In winter, we have 76 weekly flights for 2023/2024 and, therefore, this is very relevant to open up Portugal even more to this very important market", he said.