The Portuguese government has announced the launch of a new incentive programme to promote the support for inland MICE events across the country, including the mainland and autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira. The programme, in line with the country’s “Tourism Strategy 2027” for sustainable tourism, was approved by Ana Mendes Godinho, the Secretariat of State for Tourism Portugal, on the 26 June 2019.
The programme, which will be managed by Turismo de Portugal, is a financial incentive focused on attracting more corporate and association events to less densely populated regions in the country, and the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira. It is also aimed at creating original experiences in Portugal that can inspire people, grow business and motivate teams.
The programme will offer financial support for events that fulfil criteria related to the area, size (bed nights) and type of expenditure.
The main objectives of the programme are to:
· increase the attractiveness for business tourism and events to these areas,
· unify the country by channelling small and medium sized corporate and association events to these areas,
· contribute to the economic growth of these areas, by increasing tourism demand and the number of bed nights.
The following project and event organisers have access to the programme:
I. Public entities: including those of the central, regional and local government
II. Private entities
Eligible events are those of a corporate and associative nature that produce between 50 and 299 bed nights.
As part of the programme, the following expenses are eligible up to the amount specified in the above table:
a) Venue/space hire for congresses, events, incentives and social programme
b) AV equipment hire
c) Transfer services
d) Accommodation in officially recognised tourism units
f) Entertainment services
h) Construction of infrastructures to increase the existing space
i) Management and organisation services of the congress or event, when contracted in Portugal
J) Promotional and communication materials
The following are excluded from the programme:
• Events already confirmed in the calendar of these areas and do not fulfil the criteria of an association or corporate event of the business tourism sector, such as sports competitions tournaments, festivals, festivities and exhibitions
Applications can be submitted from the 18th July on the Turismo de Portugal site, on the SGPI platform, with the minimum of 90 days before the event and during the duration of the programme until 26th June 2020.
Portugal continues to remain a popular destination for corporate travel due to its mild climate, ease of access and affordability in comparison to other countries. In 2017, it was ranked 11th by International Congress and Convention Association as one of the top 20 countries by number of meetings organised in that year.