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News Article

Portugal is Europe’s fastest growing travel destination

Tourism contributes €1 in every €5 to Portugal's economy 

Portugal is Europe’s fastest growing Travel & Tourism market. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has released figures for Portugal’s Travel & Tourism sector. Their research estimates that €1 in every €5 of the country’s income is through tourism.

The Portuguese Travel & Tourism sector grew by 8.1%, much higher than the global average growth of 3.9%. The sector contributes €38.4bn to the country’s economy, a share of 19.1%. In 2019 the WTTC forecasts Portugal’s Travel & Tourism sector to grow by 5.3%, and to welcome over 20 million visitors.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization says Portugal welcomed 6.8 million foreign tourists in 2010. This had risen to 18.2 million in 2016; visitor numbers have increased by 168% in six years. Visitor numbers are predicted to rise still further. Of all visitors to Portugal in 2018, 85% were travelling for leisure and 69% came internationally.

Portugal’s travel sector growth was the highest seen in the European Union, and is significantly above the EU average of 3.1%. The travel sector employs 1.05 million people in Portugal, or 21.8% of all jobs in the country’s economy. Almost 1 in 5 people in Portugal are directly employed or involved in the Travel & Tourism sector.

As Portugal’s visitor numbers are set to rise, the country has been urged to invest in infrastructure to avoid problems caused from overtourism, as seen in cities like Barcelona. To cope with the influx of visitors, a €1.3 billion deal has been recently approved by the Portuguese government to build a new airport. The new airport will service Lisbon and will have an enlarged capacity, enabling the country to receive 50 million visitors a year, as reported by local media.

Rebecca Stone of Skift, a Travel & Tourism intelligence platform, says that over tourism is already happening in Lisbon. Stone also says that “[Tourism] can add unnecessary “wear and tear” on destinations, negatively impacting the availability of resources, local businesses, and the environment, not to mention residents’ lives.”

Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, said: “The data revealed by the WTTC about the impact of Tourism in Portugal shows that the growth of Tourism in our country is one of the fastest in Europe, which demonstrates that we are leading the Future”.

To read more from WTTC about Portugal click here Also you can go to Skift and read more from Rebecca click here.

CABI Leisure Tourism has 1,739 articles on Portugal, of these 255 articles focus on Lisbon. Leisure Tourism also has extensive news articles, book chapters and journal papers on overtourism, to see more click here.

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • Jesslyn Thay
  • Date
  • 02 April 2019
  • Source
  • WTTC
  • Subject(s)
  • General Leisure and Recreation
  • Tourism