Prof. Francisco Teixeira Pinto Dias from Portugal: “Our job is to offer new experiences that people expect”

  Prof. Dr. Francisco Teixeira Pinto Dias (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal) visited Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) at the invitation of Prof. Dr. Biruta Švagždienė, the Head of the Department of Sport Management, Economics and Sociology. The visit of the Professor was partially financed by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania.

  Prof. Dr. Francisco Teixeira Pinto Dias, a lecturer at the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, is also a member of the Editorial Board of many scientific journals published in international databases and the President of the Board of the Euro-Asia Tourism Studies Association (EATSA). He and his colleagues have been organizing an international tourism film festival "Art & Tur" for over a decade. He is the Vice President of the festival, which helps cinema makers and tourists from different countries to present and promote their countries internationally.

  Professor has visited Lithuania before and is well acquainted with our country and the tourism industry. The guest has visited Lithuanian Sports University as well, as several years ago he was invited as one of the main speakers to an international scientific conference organized by the university.

  Prof. Dr. Francisco Teixeira Pinto Dias presented the latest trends in tourism to LSU students and talked about the rapidly changing tourism sector as well as the main points to be focused on by future professionals in the field.

  “I hope that the knowledge that I have shared with the university students will become a source of inspiration. I talked to them about the fact that the old tourism models are no longer suitable, because this area has become an experience tourism, therefore, we need to be creative, to understand what travellers are looking for and how to make creative use of the available national resources. It must be understood that tourism is not just about resources - beautiful architecture, nature or culture anymore. People expect new experiences, so we have to offer those experiences. Lithuanians have great craftsmanship, handicraft and cooking traditions, so why not offer them to learn these things?”, said Prof. Dr. Francisco Teixeira Pinto Dias.

  According to the guest, tourism is a complex communication network, therefore, there is no recipe for success. However, creativity is limitless, and tourism specialists should use it and look for niches that are not well developed yet.

  “As far as the tourism sector is concerned, I would like to use the metaphor from the wildlife. In the past, a tourist reminded of an ant, and a hotel reminded of an anthill. All the ants used to follow the guide in a line. Nowadays tourists are like butterflies, as they are not so easy to predict, they go where they like, and are less dependent on the group. Representatives of the tourism industry must try to understand the needs of today's traveller and to adapt”, said the guest from Portugal.