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The touristic sector in Portugal

Portugal, in the year 2019, managed to collect several tourism awards, surpassing many countries like the Maldives, Costa Rica or New Zealand. The "Oscar" of tourism, as it is called, was delivered in Oman to Portugal. Another 19 trophies followed for our country at the World Travel Awards (WTA).


Photo by Katemangostar


The trend for tourism and travel in Portugal is to increase in the coming years. The Portuguese government believes that this is a growing sector and that it should have a prominent place in investments, opening doors to the creation of new jobs.


The number of visits increases from year to year, as does the length of stay of non-traditional tourists. Markets such as the United States, Canada, China and Brazil are part of this list. Traditional tourism includes the British, who have been visiting the country for many years, especially the Algarve region. The second-largest percentage of tourism are the Portuguese themselves. The days when it was necessary to advertise to the Portuguese people to visit their own country are long gone.


Being a multidisciplinary country in terms of tourist offers, quality, gastronomy and hospitality, justifies all the awards added over the years. The diversification of tourist packages is recent, having started after other destinations like Spain or Turkey, offered the same product as Portugal, "sun, sea and sand". Portugal has managed to innovate, not depending entirely on sun and beach tourism, giving room to new regions to prosper in the tourism sector. Today the offer is rural, nature, cultural or experience tourism, and of course, beach tourism, which is very appreciated by national and international tourists since the ’60s (Try to vary your holiday style, see everything here).


Through the statistics, we can observe which points are most visited and which nationalities visit them. The Spanish prefer the northern part of the country and the Alentejo, the French choose the capital, while the Germans have a preference for island tourism. The nationalities at the top of the list of longest overnight stays are the English, with 2.64 million in 2019, followed by the Germans with 833,7 thousand and the Dutch with 603,3 thousand.


According to statistics from the National Institute of Statistics (Instituto Nacional de Estatística), the Algarve region, in the period of January to June, received 9.3% more tourists than in the same months in 2018. The growth trend in this sector is going to last, not only in the Algarve, but throughout continental Portugal and the islands.



Portugal has mainly benefited from tourism revenues in recent years. It was one of the sectors that boosted low unemployment in the country, with direct and indirect jobs, as well as urban rehabilitation (learn more here). The largest influx of tourists in Portugal was predicted for 2020, a fact that was surpassed two years earlier. This is a strong sector that drives economic growth and development in this country near the sea.