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How Portugal became the hottest destination in Europe for Americans

Boston, MA -- Portugal is having a record year for travel and tourism from the US. The European nation is set to have a 22% increase in American guests for 2017, making it the fastest growing inbound market for visitors to Portugal, according to TVI. And spending by American guests, per capita, far outpaces other nations.

The secret behind this explosive growth? The US public relations effort was run out of a boutique firm in Concord, NH, for the past eight years. Louis Karno & Company used blogging, pitching unique stories to individual outlets, and intensive research for writers. Now, agency head Jayme H. Simoes is set to breakdown how this was achieved at the Public Relations Society of America’s International conference on October 9th in Boston.

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 had a tight budget, and sometimes necessity is the key to innovation – and we really got creative- building a brand based on PR.”

In recent 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.”

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