National Organisation

As part of a general public administration reform, all centrally-organised tourism bodies where merged in 2007, into a single body, Turismo de Portugal I.P., the National Tourism Authority (NTA).

Under the aegis of the Secretary of State for Tourism and the Ministry of Economy and Innovation, the NTA (Turismo de Portugal I.P.) is responsible for the promotion, valorisation and sustainability of tourism activities, under a specific umbrella approach, namely:

  • To define strategies and policies;
  • To enhance and develop tourism infrastructures;
  • To grade tourism offer;
  • To develop training opportunities;
  • To support investments in the sector;
  • To manage programs and incentives;
  • To co-ordinate the promotion of Portugal as a tourism destination – both internally and externally;
  • To regulate and inspect gambling activities;
  • To co-operate at international level.

 Regional Organisation

There are 11 Regional Tourism Bodies (Entidades Regionais de Turismo - ERTs). They act as management bodies with financial and administrative autonomy and are geographically defined in accordance with the five regional areas that reflect territorial units used for statistical purposes: NUTS II (Norte, Centro, Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, Alentejo and Algarve) and with the 6 tourism development poles (Douro, Serra da Estrela, Leiria-Fátima, Oeste, Litoral Alentejano e Alqueva). They are an important instrument for the country’s strategic policies alignment at national, local and regional level. ERTs are responsible to add value and promote tourism resources sustainable development, acting as privilege communication interfaces with the NTA.

As main responsibilities they must:

  • Contribute to the national and regional tourism policy;
  • Ensure the development and valorisation of tourism products/resources;
  • Monitor tourism offer;
  • Promote the regions in the domestic market whilst cooperating with both the NTA and ARPTs in the regional destination external promotion.

Regional Directorates for Tourism

In the autonomous regions of Madeira and Açores the Regional Directorates contribute to ensure the tourism policy defined by the autonomous Regional Governments. As main responsibilities they must:

  • Contribute to the national tourism regional policy;
  • Foster the development of the tourism offer;
  • Ensure the co-operation from the regions both with national and international bodies and the NTA.

International Promotion

There are seven Regional Agencies for Tourism Promotion (ARPT’s), that geographically correspond to the 7 promotional destinations in international markets (Porto e Norte, Centro de Portugal, Lisboa Região, Alentejo, Algarve Açores and Madeira). They are private associations from the public (among which Regional Tourism Bodies) and private sector that have a formal Protocol (Contract) with Turismo de Portugal I. P. They represent the stakeholders involvement in implementing projects and programs from both PENT and Turismo de Portugal I. P.

As main responsibilities they must:

  • Elaborate and execute the Regional Promotional Plans for Tourism (in accordance with their contract with the NTA);
  • Consolidate international promotion;
  • Reinforce the strategic umbrella approach

Tourism Promotion Teams Abroad

The NTA also has a network of 15 Tourism Promotion Teams abroad. These teams belong to AICEP offices abroad, but are funded and directly report to Turismo de Portugal I.P. Their main responsibilities are:

  • Develop and implement international tourism actions and marketing campaigns in accordance with PENT’s directives;
  • Reinforce the country’s strategic approach to the tourism sector;
  • Enhance operational efficiency.

 For the first time ever in Portugal, a single institution now aggregates all government bodies responsible for stimulating tourism activities – from supply to demand. Maintaining a privileged relationship with other public bodies and economic agents in the country and abroad, Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is committed to fulfilling the core objective of strengthening sustainable tourism - as one of the key engines of growth of the Portuguese economy.

This new structure provides better coordination of both national and regional performance within a common strategy and an agreed action plan, and presents a clearer view of the country’s sustainable destination choices, leading to greater promotional efficiency. The objective is also to achieve greater involvement from the private sector, namely in investment.


Turismo de Portugal I.P. cooperates with different entities and established partnerships for specific purposes:

CEPT – Strategy and Promotion Tourism Council (Conselho Estratégico do Turismo): CEPT is a Strategy and tourism promotion council with consultative and deliberative functions. Twice a year a meeting is held with the Secretary of State for Tourism, the President and Vice President of Turismo de Portugal IP, the Regional Agencies for Tourism Promotion (ARPTS), the Regional Directorates for Tourism (Madeira and Azores) and the public and private sector associations (ANRET and CTP).

Tourism 2015 (Turismo 2015): This strategic partnership aims the recognition of the tourism sector as a Competitiveness Pole in the framework of Collective Strategies for Efficiency that are part of QREN (National Strategic Reference Framework), in accordance with PENT’s strategic guidelines, joining together the most representative players of the tourism sector in Portugal: Turismo de Portugal I.P., CTP (Portuguese Tourism Confederation), ERTs, ARPTs and the Hospitality Management Institute. This recognition allows a privileged access to EU structural resources foreseen in QREN in order to act in four critical areas of Tourism Policy: Knowledge and Innovation, Human Resources, Tourism Offer and Promotion.

Strategic Council for Education and Training in Tourism (Conselho Estratégico de Educação e Formação em Turismo): Recognising Tourism’s importance for national economic growth, COTEC Portugal (Entrepreneurship Association for Innovation) proposed to Turismo de Portugal I.P. the creation of a strategic council that would work/reflect on the structural challenges for education and training in the tourism sector. Together with COTEC, the main partners for this initiative / forum where identified. They are mainly the top employers for the tourism sector, universities and professional associations. The Council allows Turismo de Portugal I.P. a close connection with all the interested parts thus proactively intervening in what refers to actions and initiatives to undertake regarding education and training in the tourism sector. Measures to improve the current training system where already identified and set into action. Namely curricula enrichment in accordance with the market needs; on the job training; activities; raising proficiency in English; fostering technology and behaviour learning and following the guidelines of the Hospitality Management Institute.

Product’s ‘Clubs’ (Clubes de Produto): Through these ‘Clubs’ Turismo de Portugal I.P. and the stakeholders foster reflexion /knowledge exchange platforms from which it becomes possible to identify possible solutions for the constraints that all involved parties are facing in stimulating the development of the 10 strategic products. For example in the Golf ‘Club’ issues like design and management of golf courses; promoting golf practice; internal and external marketing strategies for the product are discussed.

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