Portugal, one of the poorest countries in the European Union, has much to offer but faces significant challenges to its tourism industry. The Douro Valley, known as the birthplace of port wine, and the poorest region in Portugal, was the focus of GWSB’s Tourism Consulting Practicum in June.
Each year, the Tourism Consulting Practicum Course, led by International Institute of Tourism Studies Director Kristin Lamoureux and Donald Hawkins, Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy, works with a client to address a specific tourism development issue. This year the consulting team, made up of 15 GW graduate students and nine hospitality students in Portugal, worked with the Portuguese Commission for Regional Coordination and Development to focus on strategies to make the Douro Valley more attractive to tourists.
The consulting team conducted a brief assessment of tourism products and services within the Valley, and interviewed groups such as local entrepreneurs, government officials, residents and tourists. The team made recommendations to address three specific areas: seasonality and length of stay, access to the North American market and alternative tourism product development.
The project culminated in a presentation of the consulting team’s findings and recommendations, which was attended by representatives from the diverse stakeholder groups. The consulting team will deliver a final report to the Portuguese Commission this month.
Posted by gwsb on July 15, 2010 | Filed under: GWSB News.