Lisbon is on the third place among the best cities in the world for congresses. According to a study carried out by the Lisbon Tourism Observatory on Congresses only Barcelona and Paris are more important than the Portuguese capital.
Tourism industry is very important for the Portuguese economy. In 2006 it is expected to be 6.4 % of GDP and 17.7 % of total employment. Quality of services is a key-stone of the success. The most valued services are accommodation, public transport and food/refreshments services. An excellent climate and a very good quality/price ratio also invest into a good image of the business travel destination. According to the aforementioned study 94.3 % respondents recommend the Portuguese capital for the organization of congresses. International Congress & Convention Association claims that Lisbon is on the list of most sought after cities for business meetings and related events.
There are many reasons why is Lisbon so popular among business travelers. There are sandy beaches along with interesting architecture: Baixa (an area of the city centre of Lisbon) is under consideration to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Lisbon is easily accessible: it"s just a short flight away from most European locations and also easily accessed by road, sea and rail.
Lisbon has already hosted many important events e.g. Expo 98, European Football Championship 2004, the final of the Masters in tennis and also two Rock-in-Rio festivals. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and its Executive Committee Members announced that Lisbon would be the host of the 7th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in May 2007.