Before, during and post-pandemic: What happens to cultural events?

The case of Perlim - the biggest Christmas Theme Park in Portugal

  • Cátia Coelho ISCA, Universidade de Aveiro
  • Ana Estima GOVCOPP & ISCA, Universidade de Aveiro
  • Clara Pinto Feira Viva – Cultura e Desporto E.M.


The importance of tourism nowadays is crucial for the strengthening of the economy, not only for tourist cities but also for the cities that promote some type of event to boost the economy, that is, using events to generate income and a different dynamic for the communities. However, the Covid-19 pandemic caused numerous barriers to the events market around the world. Portugal was no exception, with all events being cancelled or postponed. This article aims to highlight the differences and challenges of preparing an event before and during the pandemic, with a special emphasis on the lessons for future events, whether in a pandemic environment or not. As an illustrative example, the case of Perlim, the largest Christmas Theme Park in Portugal is used, which had to adjust to government measures when the event was already underway, after being cancelled in 2020. This article describes the strategic and operational adaptations that were necessary and the changes that should remain for future cultural events like Perlim.