Turismo de Portugal
cal 10 projects
delivered in one year
users 10 developers
building custom applications
chart 10,000 
function points delivered
in only one year

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Turismo de Portugal increases IT productivity, decreases project backlogs with OutSystems Platform

The Challenge:

Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is the state-owned Portuguese tourism authority, responsible for the promotion, enhancement and sustainability of all tourism activities in the country. It was formed in 2007, after the merger of four institutions (Instituto de Turismo de Portugal (ITP), Instituto de Formação Turística (INFTUR), Inspecção Geral de Jogos (IGJ) and Direcção Geral do Turismo (DGT)), that handled different aspects of the development, investment, promotion, regulation and education of the Tourism activities in Portugal.

With this merger, Turismo de Portugal became the responsible authority for managing 16 Tourism schools and 10 casinos across Portugal.

Turismo de Portugal was created with a strategic vision of being competitive among the best tourism institutions worldwide, and to be looked upon as a leader in the tourism sector’s best practices. However, it faced the challenge of being efficient in operating such a geographically dispersed network of institutions. They understood that IT was the big enabler of their strategic vision, and started looking at ways to improve their IT’s efficiency.

After the merger, Turismo de Portugal's IT department was a mash of the small IT teams from the previous institutions.  In addition, they had inherited hundreds of isolated applications from each merged institution. These applications were mostly Visual Basic and .Net custom applications, small spreadsheets and packaged applications.

In this scenario, the IT team suddenly became responsible for managing, maintaining and evolving a much larger set of systems than originally planned.  As a result IT was unable to be as productive as the business required , which led to the growth of the IT’s backlog.

For Turismo de Portugal to achieve its strategic vision, the IT team needed a platform that allowed them to increase their productivity, scale their development team with several implementation partners and quickly develop and deploy customized Web applications to respond to their business and customers.


The Solution:

Turismo de Portugal, I.P. set out to find a platform that would allow them to cope with the increase in volume and scope of their business requirements. This development platform needed to provide:

  • Quick and easy creation of prototypes, to demonstrate custom applications to key users early in the development process, and to gather feedback frequently;
  • Fast and controlled change, to quickly implement changes to the applications and make new versions of the applications available to the business users quickly, with quality and in a cost-effective way;

Turismo de Portugal chose OutSystems Platform as their development and management solution for custom Web applications because:

  • OutSystems Platform’s model-driven and integrated development environment (IDE) allows for the rapid development of Web application prototypes with Rich Web interfaces, as well as the fast evolution of those prototypes into complete and fully-functional applications.
  • OutSystems Platform’s built-to-change mechanisms enabled Turismo de Portugal’s IT to implement changes requested by the users and make them available for testing in a matter of days. This rapid iterative approach and the short development cycles ensured that the applications were tailored to the actual needs of users.
  • OutSystems Platform’s service-oriented architecture makes it well-suited for the development and deployment of Web applications and services to be accessed by a large number of users and other applications right from the outset.
  • The integration capabilities of OutSystems Platform also allow for the integration with all the existing systems, namely the Entitas data repository and the Q2 document management system.
  • The end-to-end application lifecycle management offered by OutSystems Platform gave full control of what was being developed, deployed and changed during the entire applications’ development and maintenance cycles.

Thanks to OutSystems Platform, Turismo de Portugal’s IT team quickly achieved their planned productivity levels.



  • Increased productivity – Turismo de Portugal was able to consistently get high quality results in a very short time to market, thanks to OutSystems Platform and the OutSystems’ Agile methodology. In the first year of adoption the applications developed totaled over 10,000 function points, with an average of 301 function points per staff month compared to the industry average of 16.
  • Increased number of projects - Turismo de Portugal was able to deliver 10 projects, that involved 20 developers from external teams, all managed by IT’s internal resources, with no more than 10 simultaneous developers at peak times. These projects consisted of a School Management System, a Helpdesk Support Management System, management dashboards and applications that provided online services to Turismo de Portugal’s customers.
  • Improved resource management - OutSystems Platform’s small learning curve and easy knowledge transfer allows Turismo de Portugal to better manage the allocation of their development resources. In the past year, several development teams have worked on projects for Turismo de Portugal, becoming productive in less than a week without penalizing the quality of the result. Currently there are 5 development teams working on different projects.
  • Fast time to market and quick change – OutSystems Platform ensures easy development, integration, deployment, application management and change management, which is especially important for keeping the development and change cycles short and their costs low for Turismo de Portugal’s IT team;
  • Intellectual property (IP) ownership - With a relatively small internal team, OutSystems Platform’s model driven development environment makes it easy to learn and transfer knowledge between resources, allowing IT to outsource application development to several external partners, while keeping the IP and knowledge internally.
  • Return on the investment - Despite the IT budget cuts from the financial turmoil of 2009 and 2010, Turismo de Portugal’s IT team delivered impressive results, with their applications growing to over 19,000 function points halfway into the second year of development.

Summarizing all the results Turismo de Portugal’s IT department achieved, Nuno Henriques - IT Architect and Software Engineer Manager at Turismo de Portugal – stated that ”OutSystems Platform allows Turismo de Portugal to develop the applications that we need at the speed that we need them. With technology being the enabler of our strategic vision, OutSystems was essential in keeping up with the growth pace, and so far there has been a clear return on the investment”.


About Turismo Portugal, I.P.:

Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is an organization that aims to foster development of Portuguese tourism.

Integrated within the Ministry of the Economy, Innovation and Development, Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is the national tourism authority responsible for promotion, enhancement and sustainability of tourism activities, aggregating within a single entity all the institutional competencies related to stimulation of tourism activities, from the supply sector to demand.

Turismo de Portugal’s mission is as follows: enhancing and developing tourism infrastructures; developing human resources training; supporting investment in the sector; coordinating Portugal’s domestic and international promotion as a tourism destination; regulating and inspecting betting activities.

Using its privileged relationship with other public entities and economic agents in Portugal and abroad, Turismo de Portugal, I.P. is dedicated to fulfilling its objective of strengthening tourism as one of the core growth engines of the Portuguese economy.

Visit Turismo de Portugal's "Visit Portugal" website


Turismo de Portugal, I.P.


  • Increased IT productivity, resulting in a consistently faster delivery of projects that were in the IT backlog.
  • Increased number of projects done by external developer teams, managed by internal people, with full control over what is being implemented.
  • Improved resource management, allowing for easier adjustment of developer teams in the projects at hand.
  • Easy integration with existing systems.
  • Reduced length and cost of the development and maintenance cycles.
  • Better knowledge transfer and IP ownership allowing for easier transitions between development teams, and from outsourced development to internal maintenance teams.
  • High return on investment, resulting in Turismo de Portugal’s IT being able to do much more with less resources.

IT Card

  • 10 developers from external partners working on OutSystems Platform development team;
  • 10 IT projects developed and deployed in the first year;
  • 14 custom applications delivered and being maintained with OutSystems Platform;
  • More than 12.300  application end-users registered and actively using the applications

Evaluation Criteria

Turismo de Portugal chose OutSystems Platform as the development platform for their large-scale IT department because:  

  • The increased productivity enabled by OutSystems Platform allows them to respond faster to business demands;
  • OutSystems Platform provides:
    • End-to-end application lifecycle management, ensuring scalability and easy knowledge transfer, while keeping their intellectual property in-house.
    • Low cost of change, by allowing for short change cycles;
  • The OutSystems’ Agile approach, allowing for:
    • High quality results in a very short time to market;
    • Full alignment with the business, resulting in the quick adoption and development of custom-tailored applications with the exact features that their business requires.
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