Airbnb drives innovation and tourism in Portugal Company will promote startups offering sustainable tourism opportunities

Tourism is one of the most significant and fastest-growing sectors in the Portuguese economy. In the last year alone, Airbnb hosts and travellers created more than one billion euros’ worth of economic activity. It is for this reason that Airbnb is committed to promoting entrepreneurs and startups dedicated to tourism innovation in Portugal.

Last February, Turismo de Portugal and the entrepreneurship promotion organisation Beta-i launched a new acceleration program for tourism companies in collaboration with Airbnb, Agencia Abreu, Amadeus, Cityrama, NOS and Pestana Group. “The Journey” will involve searching for startups that offer solutions in areas such as:

  • Improving destination experiences
  • Business optimisation and development
  • Sustainable tourism

Twenty-five startups will be selected from “The Journey” to participate in a week-long boot camp with all of their members at the end of June. Fifteen of these startups will take part in an acceleration phase until the start of November. Finally, the program will conclude with a pitch day during the Web Summit on November 6.

Last year, the country reached 53.5 million overnight stays. If we want to continue this trend sustainably, we must harness the power of innovation.

Pedro Rocha Vieira, Co-Founder & CEO of Beta-i

This initiative comes at a time when tourism is expected to grow by 4% annually over the next ten years. Indeed, the stated aim is for Portugal to have 80 million overnight stays per year by 2027. Last year, the country reached 53.5 million overnight stays — a new record for the sector and an increase of more than 10%. However, if we want to continue this trend sustainably, we must also harness the power of innovation. That is why programs like “The Journey” are fundamental, and why it is so important to work with partners such as Airbnb.

Pedro Rocha Vieira, Co-Founder & CEO of Beta-i

“The Journey” is a program that perfectly encapsulates Airbnb’s values. We know that we are going to see creative ideas that bring together travel and sustainability. It’s vital that these concepts exist in harmony with life in cities for us to enjoy responsible, high-quality tourism.