The Portuguese Tourism Industry increased by 16% year-on-year in 2017, clocking in a record 57.5 overnight stays as well as an hotel occupancy income of 2.48 billion euros. Boosted by foreign tourists, the rise in popularity and revenue is expected to continue throughout 2018. 21 million people of various nationalities contributed towards the annual success.
The news isn’t a surprise to experts of the Portuguese tourism industry because, in September 2017, Reuters reported that Portugal was clocking up record visitor numbers, that would continue its triumphant return to the mainstream travel industry
Portugal, particularly appealing to holidaymakers in August, who flock to explore the historical sites, taste unique cuisine and indulge in the individualistic cultural style, is consistently outranking Spain, in terms of tourism growth.
Portugal has made intense efforts to rejuvenate its tourism industry after it took a dramatic nosedive in a 3-year debt crisis from 2011 to 2014. Their reasons for doing so are clear since the gross domestic product of Portugal relies on the industry for 10% of its revenue, and tourism is a significant source of employment.
As well as mainstream promotion, they opened dozens of new hotels and renovated old apartment buildings with the aim of increasing the choice of self-catering accommodation in places like Lisbon.
They also received a massive boost of free advertising after rumours suggested world-renowned pop star Madonna had moved to the country with the aim of buying a millionaire, 16,000 square meter villa in the Sintra region, 20 miles from Lisbon.
The villa including a caretaker’s cottage, small lake, 7 bedrooms, and a variety of rare trees needs extensive renovation work, but Madonna has been spending time in luxury hotels instead and promoting the country on her Instagram account.
The second boost came from an international survey by InterNations, the social network for expats who said their followers rated Portugal as the top relocation destination for expats.
Ensuring 2018 got off to a good start, in December 2017, the World Travel Awards named Portugal as the leading destination for travel. It beat the likes of Greece, USA and Vietnam to be the first European country to win the award.
The tourism secretary of Portugal said it was recognition of a reinvented and diverse country that knows how to welcome everyone and, in the process, make sure they enjoy themselves. Portugal also won the awards for the World’s Leading Tourist Board and Websites, and the best-golfing destination at the World Golfing Awards in November 2017.
It seems everyone is clamouring to cash in on the new-found popularity of Portugal because Emirates Airlines has also announced a new flight route from June to the capital Lisbon from Dubai.
Consisting of first class, business class and regular seats, it will accommodate business as well as leisure travellers. Trip Advisor named Emirates the best airline in the world for 2017, so its new flight route to Portugal, the rising star of the global travel scene is a fitting match.