Resolution no. 24/2013, April 16th from the Council of Ministers approved the National Strategic Plan for Tourism (hereinafter referred to as PENT) for the period 2013-2015 and created the Strategic Guidance Committee for Tourism (COET).

In terms of quantitative objectives, the PENT foresees, for the period 2013-2015, an annual growth of 3.1% in terms of overnight stays and 6.3% in terms of tourism receipts.

The PENT establishes 8 programs in order to implement the adopted strategy for the tourism sector, developed in 40 projects. Among PENT’s projects we highlight the “Strategic Products’ Program” and the “Tourism Destinations’ Program”. Under the “Strategic Products’ Program”, we consider of special importance the following projects:

  1. Religious circuits and cultural tourism - strengthening the development of tourist experiences that highlight the Portuguese diversity of religious and cultural heritage;
  2. Business tourism - promote the provision of services and infrastructure;
  3. Golf - encourage the promotion of Portugal as a destination for worldwide golf tourism;
  4. Nautical tourism - expand the range of water sports, including sailing and surfing;
  5. Residential tourism - promote the existing supply and facilitate knowledge of the products by foreign citizens, by simplifying and clarifying the existing tax incentives for non-residents;
  6. Health Tourism – make Portugal a tourist destination of excellence;
  7. Food and Wine - enrich the tourist experience through Portuguese cuisine and domestic wines. 

In what concerns to the “Tourism Destinations’ Program”, it includes, besides others, the following projects:

  1. Development of maritime tourism and implement a project to attract the international cruise lines (Cruise Portugal);
  2. Implement a project to attract Traineeship;
  3. Development of military and scientific tourism;
  4. Promote the simplification of procedures and reduce “red tape” costs.

Finally, together with the approval of PENT, a new structure is created named COET, chaired by the Portuguese Prime Minister and made up of several members of Government, also including members of the Regional Governments of Madeira and Azores. The main goals of COET are to develop a strategy for the tourism industry and, at the same time, promote interdepartmental coordination mechanisms for a better definition and implementation of the tourism strategy by the Government.