How Portugal became the hottest destination in Europe


Portugal is having a banner year for travel and tourism from the US. The European nation is set to have a 22% increase in American guests for 2016, setting a new record with close to a half million Americans expected in 2017. And in the past months Travel + Leisure named Portugal its Editors Pick Destination of the Year. Fodor’s included the Northern Minho area in their 2017 “Go List.” Condé Nast Traveler said Portugal was one of the places to go in 2017. Lonely Planet named the Azores one of the “world’s best regions to visit in 2017.” And, the Huffington Post declared Portugal “The Country Everybody Will Be Visiting In 2017.”

The U.S. remains one of Portugal’s fastest growing markets – and spending by American guests, per capita, far outpaces other nations. Skift says Portugal’s “boom” has “no signs of slowing.”

Media reviews and articles on Portugal have spiked over the past year, with Portugal gracing so many top destination lists. The US public relations effort was run out of a boutique firm in Concord, NH, for the past 6 years. Louis Karno & Company used blogging, pitching unique stories to individual outlets, and intensive research for writers.

Jayme Simoes from Louis Karno says: “The product is amazing, but the awareness in the US market was low. To boost American visits to Portugal we needed to tell the story of Portugal – as a unique and authentic destination.”

Simoes is of Portuguese descent, and his keen understanding for the product, and ability to translate from Portuguese to American English helped him lead his team. "We worked in lock step with Portugal Tourism and the 7 regional agencies."

“The media is always looking for what is new, different, and unique,” he said. “We connected with top editors, one on one, and helped them gain a sense of why Portugal was a fast emerging destination. “

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