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Timeless Evora reconnects trade.

21st October 2021 - 3:10pm

Secretary of State for Tourism Rita Marques with Don Shearer and Susana Cardosa (Director of Portugal Tourism in Dublin)

Secretary of State for Tourism Rita Marques with Don Shearer and Susana Cardosa (Director of Portugal Tourism in Dublin)



The theme for the ITAA Conference was one of collaboration and partnership. Evora and the region of Alentejo provided the perfect backdrop for ITAA members, trade partners and our hosts from the Portuguese National Tourist Office to do exactly that, as we took the opportunity in this amazing part of the world to reconnect as an Industry and set a clear roadmap to reboot and restart now!


Don Shearer (Travelbiz) took the opportunity to Interview the Secretary of State for Tourism Rita Marques on the opening day of the conference in the Vila Gale Hotel in Evora, the home of the ITAA conference 2021.

Rita’s passion for the industry and desire to ensure Ireland not only maintains its top ten position, but continues to grow as one of Portugal’s key markets, was evident from the outset. Her key objectives, as we work our way back from the past 19 months of uncertainty is to ensure Portugal increases accessibility, sustainability, diversification, partnerships and marketing opportunities to promote Portugal as an all-year-round destination for trade partners to share through their respective channels of distribution.


Through our partner Susana Cardosa (Director of Portugal Tourism in Dublin) we must ensure we collaborate with all regions so we do not miss the opportunity to discover more of what Portugal has to offer all year round!


Don has been travelling to Portugal for over 30 years and told Rita about his own journey to Evora last week, travelling from Faro to Alvor, Lagos, Sisimbra, Troia, Setubal to Evora and then he was heading for two nights to explore the real city and old town of Faro. That is the diversification right there. You’ve got a beautiful, fully accessible city break in Faro with an amazing old town, marina and incredible range of restaurants, bars and shopping. To the endless world beating beaches and golf courses on the Algarve before heading north west to amazing countryside, wine regions, great surfing and ancient history that appears in every stop you make.


“Irish people are very like the Portuguese; we hold similar values and traditions. We are tactile, fun loving and love to share experiences and opportunities to collaborate and work together. We tell stories and can share our experiences in a very unique way and that is why we work so well together and why the Irish love visiting and holidaying in Portugal”, said Rita.


“Although we have a long journey ahead, meeting Rita and her colleagues in Evora has strengthened my bond and desire to share more experiences on a business and personal level as we get back to what we do best”, Don Shearer (


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