Guest presentation: Strategic tourism planning in practice: the case of Porto, Portugal

Guest presentation: Strategic tourism planning in practice: the case of Porto, Portugal

Tuesday, 24 April, 3-4pm, F108 

Dr. Carla Pinto Cardoso, Portuguese Catholic University

Porto, the second largest city of Portugal, is increasingly becoming an important European tourism destination. In 2017, after the 9th consecutive year of above-average growth, the city enjoyed its best performance ever in terms of number of international arrivals and tourist spending. Alongside this boom, Porto has won various international awards, such as the award for Top European Tourism Destination (2012, 2014, 2017), and was nominated for three categories of the World Travel Awards: Best European Destination; Europe’s Best City Break; and Best Tourist Attraction. In this presentation, the key factors that contributed to the current success of Porto will be examined. In addition, the methodological steps and strategic approaches underpinning the design of Porto’s tourism Plan will be reviewed. The presentation will contribute to a better understanding of tourism planning at the regional level, since many of the points raised from Porto’s experience have a more general application to other cities experiencing growth in tourism or seeking to develop this sector.


The presentation is divided into 6 sub-topics:

·      Sub topic 1: The Portuguese Tourism governance (national and regional context)

·      Sub topic 2: The vision, strategy and Regional Tourism Directives for the Horizon 2027

·      Sub topic 3: Tourism in Porto and North of Portugal: diagnosis

·      Sub topic 4: The major challenges in the tourism destination to which the Strategic Plan must respond.

·      Sub topic 5: Strategic plan: methodological approach

·      Sub topic 6: Lessons from Porto

Carla Pinto Cardoso holds a PhD in Economics of Tourism from Bournemouth University (UK) and is currently the Head of the Tourism and Heritage Department in the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Portuguese Catholic University (Braga Campus). Since 2015, she is also a senior tourism consultant at Sigma Team Consulting, where she was involved the design of the strategic plan for the Porto Tourism Board. Her research and publications interests include focus on tourism impacts and planning and strategic studies.