For those tourists aware of the country, the single area of the Algarve dominated the image of Portugal as a tourist destination.
The richness and significance of Portugal’s history and the variety of its tourism offer were not recognized. Furthermore, visual anarchy characterized most of Portugal’s tourism promotional material.
Wolff Olins found that Portugal’s biggest problem was that it lived in the shadow of Spain. We suggested that Portugal needed a central idea about itself, a definition of what actually makes Portugal special, and that this should be the starting point for any and every communication about Portugal. The central idea had to be simple, accessible, but above all, true. We proposed ‘Portugal – where the Atlantic meets Europe’.
Portugal has since become one of the top tourist destinations in Europe, and today Lisbon is the second most popular European city for tourists. In 2007 24 million tourists visited Portugal, just over 50% more than in 1992. Tourism comprises 5% of Portugal’s GDP.
Tourists now go to Portugal not only in search of beaches but seeking culture, city breaks, traditional regions and nautical tourism.