To understand that internationalization is an opportunity for all types of companies, including SMEs and micro SME’s, that thanks to the current tools allow them to obtain not only information but also very valuable processed knowledge to generate new business channels as well as to deepen the knowledge of mature markets such as Portuguese and German were some of the objectives with which the Galician Tourism Cluster conceived the Conference “The challenge of internationalization for the Galician tourist sector”, held this morning in Pontevedra.
A conference promoted in collaboration with the Provincial Council of Pontevedra that allowed the attending professionals, just over a hundred, to better understand the profound changes that is experiencing the internationalization and management of tourist destinations or the challenges posed by the introduction of new technologies in this commercialization.
As explained by the president of the Galician Tourism Cluster, Cesáreo Pardal, the aim of conferences like this is “to continue creating meeting points for the sector that serve to address common challenges such as internationalization but also to promote the meeting and synergies between professionals. “We are aware of the importance of making available to the Galician tourism sector information and examples of success in internationalization and the use of new technologies in these new business models,” said the president who thanked the public-private cooperation with the Provincial Council of Pontevedra to make this day a reality.
In this sense, the president of this entity, Carmela Silva, announced the intention of the Provincial Council that this cooperation will continue in 2019. “Next year we want the whole promotion policy of the province of Pontevedra to be coordinated with the sector, with which we want to go hand in hand both in the objectives to be promoted and in the decision of the places where we should do it,” he explained.
Portugal, on the rise
Galicia is the main Spanish destination in the Portuguese market, as it accounts for 36.7% of international tourists who receive an increase in 2018 of 35.6%, according to data that the Minister of Tourism in Lisbon (OET), Natalia Briales, exposed in her participation in the day. Briales stressed that, in addition, that in recent years has grown exponentially the number of Portuguese traveling abroad, growing especially in the low season.
In this sense, Briales stressed that, among the products and destinations most sought by Portuguese travelers this year (results of the portal www.spain.info/pt) were five Galician: Manzaneda in second place, Fiesta del Marisco (4th), Fiesta del Apóstol (11th), Sanxenxo (12th) and Balneario Lobios Caldaria (14th).
However, the Portuguese traveller does not choose Galicia in winter, so it is necessary to offer attractive proposals again in low season, stressed the head of OTS Lisbon, who also stressed the need to improve connections between the two countries, which are still deficient especially from Lisbon down. This market in the south of Portugal hardly chooses Galicia as a tourist destination due to the difficulties of links and transport.
Faced with this important market, the day also focused on a much smaller market for Galicia, the German, an example of a mature market that has not changed substantially in their ways of buying their trips. As explained by the Minister of Tourism of OTS Berlin, Arturo Ortiz, has more and more but the cosmopolitan tourist, who seeks a more emotional tourism and is a type of tourist who is more interested in attracting the destination Galicia.
Knowledge is power
The conference also included successful cases of internationalization strategies for SMEs in tourism by José Lomichar, director general of NEXT and Roberto Fraga, CEO of Pilgrim Travel, who conveyed to the participants the different factors that must be taken into account in the different strategies of internationalization, managing resources well and thinking differently to open new avenues of business.
The day ended with a panel discussion in which all speakers participated in the day and allowed to resolve doubts and generate networking. With this day the Galician Tourism Cluster continues promoting the celebration of days that contribute to improve the formation and competitiveness of the Galician tourist sector.