Great properties and smiles – what’s not to like about Portugal?

Portugal’s appeal to second homeowners goes beyond desirable property and its fantastic lifestyle – the people there are officially very friendly to foreigners!

Portugal is the seventh friendliest country in the world towards tourists, thanks to its hospitality and warm-hearted people, according to a report by the World Economic Forum. The ‘The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013’ analyses 140 economies worldwide, assessing the competitiveness of each for travel and tourism, and the influence that these industries have upon the country’s economy.

In the report’s rankings for “Attitude of population toward foreign visitors”, Portugal comes a proud seventh place, behind Senegal
(6th position), Austria (5th position) and Macedonia (4th position). The top three spots for this category go to Icelanders in first place, followed by New Zealanders and then Moroccans. Portugal was 20th in the reports overall index.

Desidério Silva, President of the Algarve Tourism Board, told the Algarve Resident paper that this favourable position is the outcome of “the tourism industry’s approach to visitors’ needs and requests. We are hospitable people and have products of high quality in all aspects of tourism, from natural beauty, warm climate, unique cuisine and culture and heritage features, which represent important key factors for tourism appeal. All of these characteristics are particularly evident in the Algarve”.

To grow its tourism offering, Mr Silva believes that Portugal needs to promote itself in traditional markets, while keeping an eye on emerging markets. To boost its competitiveness, he also suggested lowering IVA in restaurants and golf, and removing toll charges on the A22  motorway.

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