The UK is spearheading a surge in tourist numbers to Portugal, proving that the Algarve remains a firm favourite with British holidaymakers, as well as owners of Portuguese property.
According to the president of the Portuguese Tourist Board, British visitors to Portugal grew by 15 per cent year-on-year between January and August 2014, reaching 142,000 visitors. Overall, foreign visitors for this period increased by 12 per cent year-on-year. It’s not only the Algarve that draws people to Portugal – Lisbon saw a 25 per cent rise in international visitors.
The Portuguese Tourist Board believes much of this growth is thanks to a shift in its marketing strategy, namely to move most of it on-line. Either way, it is good news for homeowners who let property in the Algarve – more interest in the regions should secure more holidaymakers who rent property.
This encouraging news signals a bumper year ahead for Portugal in terms of tourism, helped by no less than 600 new flights planned to the country throughout 2015. These include 350 new services from British Airways – mainly to the Algarve, Madeira and the north of Portugal – as well as easyJet, Norwegian, Flybe and Thomson.
Meanwhile, national carrier TAP Portugal announced at the recent World Travel Market exhibition that it is increasing the frequency of its Lisbon service from the UK next year. From summer 2015, TAP will operate 10 flights a week each from Manchester and London Gatwick to Lisbon.
TAP will also launch four new destinations in South and Central America, namely Manaus and Belém in Brazil, Bogota in Colombia and Panama City.