/BTL – International Tourism Fair already scheduled for 2017/

International Tourism Fair in Portugal will take place  15 to March 19, 2017

Lisbon, April 14, 2016 – After working with its partners and players in the national and international trade, the organization of BTL decided to mark the agenda of international trade Tourism the date of the 29th edition of the International Tourism Fair between 15 and 19 March 2017.

Consensually, this choice takes into account the strategy and its timing is more favorable to the national and international promotion, justifying this choice be the most favorable for the national and international promotion of the various tourist destinations they want, with their presence in hall, promoting synergies to achieve business.

The realization of BTL follows the ITB Berlin, which takes place between 8 and 12 March and after the Carnival period, which moves a significant travel flow, given the festive traditions in Portugal but also in markets with strong presence in BTL, as  the case of Brazil.

It is recalled that the BTL 2016 organized by FIL, held from 2 to 6 March and closed its doors with more than 75,000 visitors, an increase of 4 percent compared to 2015, of which 36,000 represent professionals and 39 thousand end users, an increase of 3 percent and 6 percent respectively.



Algarve is the guest national destination of BTL 2016, the largest Tourism event held in Portugal, directed towards professionals and the general public, and which will take place from 2nd to 6th March, at FIL – Parque das Nações. The announcement was made at the Publituris Portugal Travel Awards ceremony, held last Friday 11.

During the five days of the Lisbon Tourism Fair, Algarve will be featured in Pavilion 1 and introduce visitors to its wide touristic offer.

The President of the Algarve Tourism Board, Desidério Silva, adds: “For us, being the guest destination of the next BTL is excellent news, and it will be the perfect opportunity for the public and the trade to become acquainted with Algarve’s great touristic offer, which goes far beyond the Sun and the Beach. The largest national holiday destination also bets on Nature, Gastronomy and Wines, Golf and Residential Tourism, and each year it offers unique experiences that make Algarve the favourite tourist destination among the Portuguese. It is the icing on the cake, at a time when Tourism in the Algarve has been setting records and accumulating international distinctions, such as the recent election as Europe’s Best Beach Destination at the World Travel Awards, the Oscars of tourism”.

For Fátima Vila Maior, director of FIL’s fair areas, responsible for BTL: “As the Algarve is the most important touristic region at the national level, which in 2014 registered about 16.4 million overnight stays, it is natural that in the next edition of BTL this important destination is valued and promoted with the more than 72 thousand visitors this Fair welcomes”.

She adds: “We must not forget that Algarve has a relevant and strategic importance in the domestic and foreign markets and is therefore the right choice for this year’s edition. We will certainly get to know their different products, from the traditional sun and sea, golf and residential tourism, to those which are expanding, such as gastronomy and wines, touring, health tourism, business, nature and nautical tourism”.

Algarve follows Alentejo and the Azores, national guest destinations in 2015 and 2014, respectively.

The 28th edition of BTL – Lisbon International Tourism Fair, from 02 to 06 March at FIL, Parque das Nações, is moving full steam ahead and already has some novelties.

The first phase of allocating the spaces for the exhibitors has already taken place, “which means that this year we resumed a practice that we had already implemented a few years ago, that is, we allocate the first spaces in December, thus anticipating the process by one month relative to BTL 2015”, says Fátima Vila Maior, director of FIL’s fair areas, responsible for BTL.

As of today, 7,000 m2 have already been allocated, which represents a 10% increase compared to the same period in 2014 for the 2015 edition.

Fátima Vila Maior adds: “We are very confident in the 2016 edition and noting a great movement of exhibitors, in the Distribution sector in particular, which will translate in an increase in the number of operators. We can confirm the presence of Halcon Viagens and Tui Viagens, which were not present in recent years. Abreu, Geostar, Q Viagens / Airmet, GEA Group, among others, will enhance their participation, with an increase in the usually hired space”.

 “Thus, we can already assure a greater supply of products and services to those who visit us. BTL stands out once again as the privileged space where the Portuguese can find travel packages at very competitive prices. BTL is definitely the Tourism Fair in Portugal, with a diversified offer not only for trips, but for hotels and services aimed at different target audiences, from families, groups, to Senior Tourism and business travel”.

Reorganisation of the space

Another novelty at BTL 2016 will be the reorganisation of the spaces with a view to the optimisation, profitability and greater visibility of the exhibitors. In Pavilion 3, APAVT will have an important impact, occupying a more central space of greater dimension, thus enhancing its usual dynamism and including more associates in its space, who would not otherwise participate in BTL independently. On the other hand, Pavilion 2 will also change, where the hosted buyers lounge will be repositioned within the concept of the fair.


Hosted Buyers Programme

The hosted buyers programme remains a priority for the BTL organisation, and the aim includes consolidating it with the professionals. The BTL Organising Committee expects to welcome more than 400 international buyers and Fátima Vila Maior concludes: “we are working towards this goal with our partners, including TAP, Turismo de Portugal, promoting Entities from the various Regions, APAVT and representatives of the hotels in Lisbon. This year, we will maintain the specialisation strategy and the tourism products, that is, direct communication taking into account the specificities of each market”.

“In addition to traditional market buyers we want to attract new markets with great potential. It should be noted that these buyers will schedule meetings with the exhibitors and will also have the opportunity to meet various national tourist sites through organised tours, aimed at promoting Portugal to them. That is, BTL’s role is not limited to the Fair. BTL also supports the dissemination of the Country’s touristic products”.

Still within the field of hosted buyers, we will be launching a new segment dedicated to Music Festivals, which will be held within the scope of the participation of APORFEST – Portuguese Association of Music Festivals. This entity will bring its international buyers to BTL and the Portuguese exhibitors will then have a unique opportunity to come into contact with companies and organisations, which they would not have otherwise had.

Algarve is the national guest destination

During the five days of the International Tourism Fair, the Algarve will be highlighted in Pavilion 1, introducing to visitors its extensive touristic offer.

As the Algarve is the most important tourist region at the national level, which in 2014 registered about 16.4 million overnight stays, it is natural that in the next edition of BTL this important destination is valued and promoted next to the more than 72 thousand visitors this Fair welcomed in 2015.

The Algarve follows the Alentejo and the Azores, national guest destinations in 2015 and 2014, respectively.


International destinations

For BTL 2016, we expect to surpass the 36 international destinations present in 2015. “In accordance with the contacts already made, we believe that we will exceed this number. We are recording great interest by some destinations to return to BTL and by others participating for the first time”, said Fátima Vila Maior.

Egypt will return in this edition and for Japan it will be the first time. We have also confirmed Morocco, Mozambique, Tunisia, Cape Verde, India, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Andalusia and the traditional Brazilian destinations.


Exhibitors streamline BTL 2016

BTL 2016 will have more than 1,000 exhibitors and intends to position itself not only as a Destinations Fair, but also a dynamic space, where various initiatives of interest are carried out, both for professionals and the general public.

Among the activities already confirmed, we can list the Publituris Awards, to be held on 2 March; on 3 March the Forum of the Institute for the Promotion and Development of Latin America (IPDAL) and a conference on Tourism and the Music Festivals organised by TalkFest. On 4 March the “Tourism Train Experiences” Awards will take place, organised by European University.

Also worthy of notice, is Talkfest 2016, which runs concurrently to BTL and the Iberian Festival Awards Gala, to be held on the evening of the 3rd, in Pavilion 1, and which will include a BTL Award.

Also, on 4 March, the Tourism Forum 2.1, in collaboration with Amadeus Portugal and BTL, will position itself as a bridge between training and the job market, creating the largest employment fair of the Tourism sector, with the main goal of bringing together more than 40 companies interested in hiring and attracting talent. The employability fair aims to offer more than 200 job opportunities.

The 28th edition of BTL – International Tourism Fair will have Brazil as guest country. The more than 72 thousand visitors expected at BTL 2016 will have the opportunity to know the main attractions of each Brazilian State, with a diverse touristic offer, from the sun to the beach, cultural or nature tourism suggestions.

At BTL 2016, which will be held from 2 to 6 March, Brazil will be represented by various of the country’s States with an area over 1,500 m2.

Fátima Vila Maior, director of FIL fairs area, responsible for BTL, said: “This year, Brazil will be featured in what is the largest Tourism fair held in Portugal. Brazil continues to be a privileged destination for the Portuguese people, even more so with the fall of the Brazilian Real, which makes it cheaper, and this year we will have one more good reason to visit. I am referring to the Olympic Games that will take place in Rio de Janeiro, from 5 to 21 August. Embratur already confirmed the presence of the majority of the Brazilian States, which will enable a wide range of touristic products”.

“In addition to being a major participation for the general public and that always provides great entertainment, I recall that Brazil is also a strong bet for BTL with regard to the professional public and specifically to the hosted buyers programme, which will have a specific offer for Brazil,” she adds.

The 28th edition of BTL – Lisbon International Tourism Fair, organised by the AIP Foundation, will take place at FIL, Parque das Nações, Lisbon.

This year’s edition of the BTL Blogger Travel Awards is already live. Travel bloggers can submit their application at www.btl.fil.pt until 5 February and apply to one of the four categories: Best Personal Travel Blog, Best Business Travel Blog, Best Travel Photography Blog and Best Travel Blog Selected by the Public.

The BTL Blogger Travel Awards will take place for the third consecutive year, aiming to reward the best travel blogs in Portugal and in the Portuguese language, who stood out in 2015.

The jury, made up of personalities linked to the tourism sector, will nominate between two and five blogs for each category, and will select the winner for each category and the nominees for the “Best Travel Blog Selected by the Public” will be posted for online voting on the BTL’s website.

Applicants will be assessed taking into account the quality of the information and writing, the relevance of the themes, creativity, innovation and graphics. Only blogs with proven minimal activity of nine months in the period under review will be nominated.

The winners will be announced during the BTL 2016, on 6 March, at FIL, Parque das Nações.

BTL Blogger Travel Awards 2015
The winners of the BTL Blogger Travel Awards 2015 were:
Best Professional Blog: As viagens de Filipe Morato Gomes – www.fmgomes.com
Best Personal Blog: Viajar entre Viagens – viajarentreviagens.blogspot.pt
Best Travel Photography Blog: Gabriel Soeiro Mendes www.gabrielsoeiromendes.com
Best Travel Blog Selected by the Public: Viaje Comigo – www.viajecomigo.com

The meetings scheduling platform of the hosted buyers programme for BTL 2016 is already online, allowing companies to update their information. As of 10 February, it will be possible to schedule meetings.

This year’s edition of the hosted buyers programme will be enhanced with new partnerships. Besides TAP, Turismo de Portugal, promoters of the various Tourism Regions and APAVT, BTL 2016 will feature new hotel unit partners, including hotels Sheraton, Corinthia, Marriott, Intercontinental and Lutécia, which will be joined by the Hotels Sana, Mundial, D. Pedro, Altis, Tivoli, Turim, Porto Bay, Pestana and VIP.

Fátima Vila Maior, director of FIL’s Fair Area, responsible for BTL, adds: “The hosted buyers programme is a priority, in which we have been investing year after year. In 2015, it went quite well, with more than 300 foreign buyers and close to 3 thousand scheduled meetings. In 2016, we want to consolidate these numbers and even surpass them”.

The Organising Committee of BTL 2016 expects to welcome approximately 400 international buyers, not only from traditional markets such as Germany; France; United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Spain, but also from markets such as Poland and the Czech Republic, Russia, Brazil, Panama, Colombia, India, China and the USA.

The platform for scheduling the hosted buyers programme meetings, developed by ViaTecla, underwent some improvements this year and already allows exhibitors to carry out an online assessment of the quality of the companies with whom they met and assigns them points.

About the Hosted Buyers Programme
This initiative started in 2010, and over its five years it has had the participation of 600 Portuguese companies and about 1,000 international buyers from 29 countries (data to be updated).