Portuguese pavilion continues to grow

The Portuguese pavilion will represent the country’s largest ever participation at The Hotel Show. The country has recorded a 10% increase on exhibitors over last year’s delegation.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  May 22, 2005

The Portuguese pavilion will represent the country’s largest ever participation at The Hotel Show. The country has recorded a 10% increase on exhibitors over last year’s delegation. “Last year we had a big delegation, 20 companies. This year, we have 22 companies already confirmed, so an increase of 10%,” Carlos Costa, director, ICEP (Portuguese Trade Centre), told Hotelier Middle East. “Our task is to raise awareness for the Portuguese companies and make them aware of the opportunities that there are in the Middle East market. This is a booming market, and Portugal is a very strong country in terms of export. “The Middle East hotel business has been immune to any global recession, and shows continued economic growth. The GCC in particular has been growing dramatically. Whereas the size of Portugal’s international market is small, so companies need to globalise to reach a larger market. This is a region that we should concentrate on to diversify,” Costa remarks. ICEP opened a regional office in Dubai three years ago. From this office, the ICEP has been pushing Portuguese companies to look at the Middle East as a viable export market. “The Portuguese trade commission works with the trade associations in Portugal. We work with the central organisations, and the umbrella associations. With their co-operation we establish a partnership in order to stimulate companies to come on a group basis and participate on a country stand at exhibitions like The Hotel Show,” Carlos explains. “We give them a whole marketing service; access to databases, B2B services, presentations on the market, and explain how the decision making process is made here,” he adds. Portuguese companies will be showcasing a wide range of products at The Hotel Show, including furniture, tableware, chinaware, cutlery, fabrics and bathroom fittings. “The quality of our chinaware products are the same quality as Villeroy and Boch or Wedgwood, but we need to improve the branding of our image. Portugal is also the third largest manufacturer of linens, so we have companies with bed linens and terry towels looking to target the Middle East,” Carlos told Hotelier Middle East. Decorative articles, including giftwares, will also be presented, with three companies specialising in creating bespoke paintings for hotel lobbies. Handmade carpets will also be on exhibition. In additio, four Portuguese companies will be present at The Office Show, which is running parallel to The Hotel Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre. After the Hotel Show, ICEP is hoping to establish a cluster sales operation of Portuguese companies. “It is part of our strategy to the market, to set up businesses here, to work on a cluster basis with complimentary products, so that they have a sales manager here. You have to have salesmen on the road, getting to the decision makers, to be able to respond to the market. After the Hotel Show we will concentrate on this,” Carlos adds.

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