portugal tourism accelerate startups
Turismo de Portugal

The Portuguese government wants to position Portugal as a “hotspot country to locate investments and develop new businesses,” and will allocate €1.5 million to accelerate tourism startups.

In 2019, Portugal will provide a total of €1.5 million for startup acceleration programs in the tourism sector, a figure that represents an increase of 50% over the amount spent this year. The goal is to increase the number of new business projects covered, surpassing 400, according to Visão.

Dinheiro Vivo reported yesterday that Turismo de Portugal will boost the acceleration program from €1 to €1.5 million in 2019. This is up from 350 startups covered this year through 15 programs across the country. In 2016, 11 programs were held and 250 startups were supported.

Read More: Tourism innovators from 10 countries on ‘The Journey’ to Portugal

accelerate tourism startups
Ana Mendes Godinho

“With these acceleration programs we have a network of innovation and new business developed by these startups, which we share with the tourism industry,” said Secretary of State for Tourism Ana Mendes Godinho on the sidelines of Web Summit.

Read More: Startup Lisboa launches From Start-to-Table accelerator for restaurant innovation

Among the projects already energized with the support of the government are electric touring cars coupled with cameras that allow sharing the trip in social networks; platforms that allow registered hosts to serve typical meals to any tourist visiting the country; and applications with which you can request a personal guide or concierge from a hotel.

Read More: Portugal Ventures invests €2M to promote tourism startups highlighting culture, heritage

There is also an application that calculates the energy and water consumed by the customer and deducts the savings in the final bill at the hotel.

“This startup has participated in Tourism 4.0 projects and is already working with one of the largest international hotel networks to have the application in the various units,” said the Secretary of State for Tourism, stressing the approach between customer and supplier powered by this model.

The most recent piece of strategy for entrepreneurship in the tourism industry was initiated in September with the launch of NEST, the innovation hub for Tourism.

The association of private law, in constitution, will be led by Turismo de Portugal, counting on the support of private companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amadeus, BCP, BPI, ANA Aeroportos and Nos.

The headquarters will be located outside Lisbon (north of the Tagus, in a place to be designated until the end of the year) and the center will have national coverage, boosted by the network of Hotels and Tourism Schools as incubation spaces.

“The innovation center will be the mobilizer of all the other startups accelerators of tourism, it is the ‘hat’ that harnesses and mobilizes everyone’s work. We will transfer part of the Turismo 4.0 program to the innovation center, which will also anticipate trends,” said Mendes Godinho.

NEST is a project promoted by Turismo de Portugal in partnership with other entities, whose mission is to promote innovation in the tourism value chain, supporting the development of new business ideas, the development and experimentation of projects and the training of companies in the field of innovation and the digital economy.

The objectives to be achieved by NEST are:

  • Promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation and research in tourism.
  • Support for companies in the development of a creative and innovative vision.
  • The creation of training laboratories in collaboration with Universities, Tourism Schools, Incubators and Knowledge Centers.
  • The production and transfer of knowledge to companies.

Internationalization is also a goal for this network, which will host and incubate three of the 10 startups selected as part of a competition launched by the World Tourism Organization.