The 33rd edition of BTL, which took place at FIL between March 1st and 5th, achieved a very positive outcome, as all expectations were met or clearly exceeded. More than 1400 exhibitors this year occupied the entire fairground, an exhibition area of 45,000m2, and 75 international destinations present, which is the largest number ever. Also noteworthy is the 38% increase in the total number of visitors, which this year exceeded 63,000. This increase reflects a growth of 26% in professional trade visitors and 59.5% in the public in general.
For Dália Palma, BTL Manager, this edition "is synonymous with a year of great optimism for national tourism. During the event we had the opportunity to hear the opinion of many of our exhibitors who expressed high satisfaction with the result of their participation at the BTL, both on B2B and B2C days, where there was a huge increase in demand, driven by the diversity of destinations as well as the available opportunities for booking vacations".
Dália Palma explained that "the results obtained were extraordinary. The Tourism Sector is to be congratulated! Once again, the industry of smiles has demonstrated its capacity and ambition to make this the sector of the Portuguese economy that most contributes to services’ exportation. Our partners achieved their goals, created contacts, presented offers, but above all there was time for dialogue and discussion of ideas, which is also BTL's mission ", emphasizing the contribution of the Confederation of Tourism of Portugal and the other Sector Associations and Regional Entities, as well as Tourism of Portugal and TAP as strategic partners.
According to the BTL Manager, the success of this edition was not only due to the ability to innovate, with the emergence of new areas and content, but it was also a reflection of the clear focus on internationalization, one of the strategic axes of the event. "If we have the aim of increasingly positioning BTL as the great tourism business Marketplace, it is essential to be responsive to the evolution of the sector, to new proposals, new trends and also new market dynamics".
Promoted by AIP Foundation, the 33rd edition BTL was the stage for discussing key and crosscutting issues in the tourism sector, such as Human Resources, Sustainability, Innovation, the evolution of tourism supply and demand, cultural tourism or LGBTI+ tourism, one of the novelties featured in this edition. It is also worth mentioning that between the activities organized by BTL together with its partners, and the activities developed by the exhibitors, more than 800 side events took place during BTL.
The national guest destination, Centro de Portugal region, registered a very positive attendance. Many visitors wanted to learn more about the region, in particular the invited municipality, Aveiro. Regarding the international destination, Tunisia, this area was also the stage of great new features for the public, presenting regions that until now were little known by the Portuguese tourists in what is considered a favorite destination of the national market.