Portugal to modernise image

Portugal has turned to Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster for a £1m tourism and inward-investment brief.

The country has been a regular fixture in the news this year, with stories ranging from its EU presidency to the ­disappearanceof Madeleine ­McCann and the drowning of three British holidaymakers in October – both events taking place in the country’s Algarve region.

Travel industry insiders have said Portugal is yet to experience a drop in tourism numbers as a result of fallout from the McCann saga, but that it would be keen to reassure tourists thinking of visiting the area.

Biss Lancaster reports ­directly into the Portuguese minister for economy and innovation for the year-long programme.

Portugal also wants to distance itself from ‘old-world’ associations and promote the country as a leader in ­renewable technologies and modern industry.

The London office, headed by Biss Lancaster founder Graham Lancaster and board director Andrew Robinson, will co-ordinate operations in France, Germany Italy and Spain. The Portuguese trade body AICEP and tourism body, Turismo de Portugal are working tog-ether on the campaigns.

Biss Lancaster will highlight the positive elements of Portugal’s EU presidency – a position that revolves every six months.

Before it took over Portuguese prime minister, Jose Socrates said its focus would be on economic reform, Europe’s role in the world, and the details of a new EU treaty.

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