Brits and Americans helping to drive record tourist numbers in Portugal

New numbers released on travel to Portugal in 2013 show that it was a record year with more than 14 million visitors in 2013, a year-on-year rise of 4.2 per cent with British visitors remaining the most significant and Americans seeing the highest level of growth in terms of inbound tourists.

Tourists from the UK totalled 1.4 million in 2013, up 7.4 per cent from 2012, generating revenue of circa €1.5 billion, an increase of 4.2 per cent. Meanwhile, the National Statistics Institute (INE) in Portugal also reported a 16.4 per cent increase in overnight stays by American hotel guests, accounting for a 21 per cent hike in revenue.

“In these uncertain times, American travellers are looking for two things – value for the dollar and the value of experience,” say Jayme Simões, a tourism spokesperson. “Portugal is strong on both counts. The country’s mild, year-round climate with its historical attractions, new and classic museums, and wine country make Portugal a memorable place to explore for the American traveller. Even with the exchange rate in Europe, Portugal is one of Europe’s best values.”

Every region in Portugal saw an increase in guest stays in 2013. Porto and the Alentejo regions had the biggest increases with up to 29 per cent and 14.6  per cent more guests. Lisbon was the most sought after city and recorded growth of 8.4  per cent. The Azores showed an excellent an excellent rate of growth with more 7.4 per cent increase.

Filipe Silva, UK director of Turismo de Portugal expects that 2014 will be a similarly successful year. He commented: “TAP Portugal, BA,, Ryanair, easyJet, Monarch, Thomson and FlyBe have added flight capacity to all four of Portugal’s airports, suggesting demand for flights to Portugal is increasing. We believe this is due to the diverse product we have on offer, from cities, beaches, golf, nature and culture, to world-renowned gastronomy and wine.”

Strong tourism numbers are good news for the Portuguese property market, helping to maintain demand for property in the Algarve and increasing rental demand for homes in Algarve resorts.

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