The 23rd edition of Bolsa de Turismo Lisboa (BTL) took place from 23rd to 27th February 2011 after having been postponed from January. The change in dates proved to be a good decision by the organizers as this year’s event saw over 74,000 visitors and around 990 exhibitors, a big jump from all previous editions.

The organizers of BTL were overwhelmed with the response and said, “This year’s success strengthens the position of BTL as a business platform of reference for both professionals (9% increase in national professional credential) and for the public seeking a chance to meet in one place. BTL is today the largest and most comprehensive international tourism fair to be held in Portugal. The date change has proved correct in the areas of internationalization and strategic marketing of package tours for the general public, which corresponded with a great turnout.”

The hotel industry in Portugal is experiencing falling occupancy and RevPar, reason why hoteliers and revenue managers were keen to find ways to boost revenues. We spoke to many hoteliers and helped them with their concerns and queries. I personally consider BTL to be a productive event as I had the opportunity to organize 28 one-on-one meetings with hoteliers and local OTAs to show them the benefits of channel management products. The local media too was interested in meeting with us to gain more information about our products and services.

I have been attending this event for the last four years and I see a growing change in the Portuguese hotel market. Hoteliers now understand the need for a channel manager and are maturing to the concept of online distribution. They are aware of the benefits and ROI they can derive if they leverage the right technologies properly.

Pilar Sanchez Aita is Sales Manager – Spain & Portugal at eRevMax and is responsible for sales of RateTiger products in the region. She is based out of Madrid and can be reached at

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