The Portuguese president, Anibal Cavaco Silva has highlighted the importance of the tourism industry to the country. He recently met with UNTWO secretary general, Taleb Rifai, and the president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council, David Scowsill. Tourism in Portugal directly accounts for 9% of the country’s GDP, and is responsible for employing around 8% of the workforce.
The meeting served to highlight the importance of this sector, and especially the effects it can have within other sectors of the economy. With this in mind the direct and indirect influence of tourism in Portugal is expected to account for 15% of the country’s GDP, and to directly and indirectly support 18% of the workforce this year.
The Portuguese tourism industry hasn’t been immune to the effects of the euro crisis, as during the first nine months of this year the revenue from this sector dropped by around 2%, even though there was a 3% increase in the number of visitors to the country. More than 6.2 million foreigners visited Portugal during the first nine months of this year, but perhaps not surprisingly there were fewer Portuguese travellers.
However last year saw record numbers of people visit the country and revenue from the hotels increased to reach nearly €2 billion, the highest level since 2008. Even though Portugal is facing something of a crisis at the moment, it is still an extremely popular holiday destination and buy to let property is perennially popular, especially in the coastal resorts that benefit from a temperate climate year-round.