It has been a successful period for tourism in Portugal. The number of foreigners visiting the country rose by nearly 12 per cent last year to a record 12.7 million people, contributing to the once-bailed out country’s strongest economic growth since 2000.
Official data showed earlier this year that tourism and all travel-related revenues account for about ten per cent of the Iberian country’s gross domestic product, which expanded 2.7 per cent last year.
The tourism sector is also a key source of employment and big component of exports of services.
British tourists comprised the largest group of visitors last year, but with the smallest increase of just one percent from a year ago.
There were bigger jumps, of over 30 per cent, in arrivals of visitors from the United States, Poland and Brazil.
Preliminary data from the Portuguese National Statistics Institute showed that total hotel revenues in the Atlantic coast country, including domestic tourism, soared nearly 17 per cent to €3.4 billion.
Both the arrivals and revenues grew at approximately the same strong pace as in 2016.
Tourism has been growing steadily since 2011, with the country considered a must-see destination for many European guests.
Over the last few years hundreds of new hotels and thousands of refurbished apartments for tourists have been opening across Portugal, promoting the country to one of the top three hottest travel destinations worldwide for 2018, according to Lonely Plant.
Portugal lures tourists, foreigners and natives alike with its sandy beaches, medieval castles, contemporary shopping and some of the lowest prices for wining and dining in western Europe.
The country was also recognised as the World’s Best Golf Destination for the fifth year running by the World Golf Awards last month – adding a further string to its bow as a holiday choice.
World Travel & Tourism Council
The World Travel & Tourism Council has welcomed Luis Araújo, president, Turismo de Portugal, as its newest member and Destination Partner. Araújo joins peers from Visit California, NYC & Company, Las Vegas Convention & Visitor Authority and Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority to become the organisation’s fifth partner in five months.
The announcement thus marks WTTC’s first formal affiliation with a partner based in Europe.
The Destination Partner category - the newest member classification - amplifies the voice of major national tourism organisations and destination management organisations from across the globe, and will serve to tackle issues within the tourism sector such as overcrowding and crisis preparedness.
WTTC’s partnership with Turismo de Portugal follows a joint-event hosted in Lisbon earlier this year.
On September 11th, WTTC and Turismo Portugal welcomed over 150 chief executives, ministers and industry leaders from across the continent to the inaugural Europe Leaders Forum, to discuss key issues affecting the region’s tourism sector including travel facilitation, sustainable growth, and the future of work.
Gloria Guevara, president, WTTC, said: “I am so pleased to officially welcome Luis Araújo as a member and partner of WTTC. Portugal is a well-established destination with its tourism sector boasting a growth rate that is three times faster than the country’s economy.”
Algarve Congress Centre
The Algarve Congress Centre, one of the largest and most modern facilities for meetings, conferences and events in Portugal and Europe, has opened next to Vilamoura
Marina and the Tivoli Marina Vilamoura Algarve Resort. After a €10 million investment from Minor Hotels Group, the Algarve Congress Centre is now available to hos gatherings with maximum convenience and flexibility, offering rooms and venues that meet all state-of-the-art needs in organising gatherings that range from seminars to parties and much more.
Benefiting from a highly privileged location in Vilamoura, a charming central town in the popular beach destination of the Algarve, the new event space is comprised of 22 rooms bursting with natural light spread over a total area of 7,050 square metres, with a total capacity for 3,000 people.
Find out more about visiting Portugal on the official website.