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Travel and Tourism - Portugal - February 2012

Despite its diminutive size – slightly smaller than the US state of Indiana, Portugal is blessed with a variety of landscapes, from verdant mountains and golden plains to river valleys and 850km of coast. An ancient seafaring nation with a rich history, traditional culture and strong gastronomy, it is popular with visitors combining a cultural trip with a beach holiday and has a safe image as a destination away from the main centres of global terrorism. It is also one of Western Europe’s most affordable holiday spots as well as being the third most sustainable (behind Denmark and Spain in capacity per capita), with green/renewable energies accounting for more than 20% of total energy output.

With these clear competitive advantages, tourism is a priority strategic sector. However, the country nevertheless progressively lost market share in world tourism, to destinations such as Turkey, Hungary, Thailand and Malaysia from 2000-05. According to the 2010-15 revision of the National Strategic Plan for Tourism 2005-2015 (PENT), this was mainly due to its high dependence on four international markets, a high degree of seasonality in tourism and constraints in air connections. Domestic tourism has developed in a sustained manner – in the first five years of the 21st century, the country maintained its market share in revenues, but not its volume of international tourists. The year 2006 marked a turning point for Portugal’s tourism fortunes. Between January and October 2006, international tourism arrivals grew by 8.8%, in comparison with the same period in 2005 and overnight stays by 5.6%.

Country Reports are tourism profiles of destination countries.

This report is produced by one of a global network of industry analysts, who provide market-based information as well as detailed, insightful and localised interpretation of the facts and figures.

Each profile contains information on:

  • Tourist arrivals - overnights and expenditure
  • Purpose of visit - business, leisure or VFR
  • Accommodation supply - operating performance
  • Tourism policy - management
  • Transport - access and infrastructure
  • Tourism funding - promotion and future development

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Table of contents

  1. Portugal: Key Facts

    • Introduction

      • Data Sources

          • History
            • Geography
            • Attractions

                • Alentejo
                  • Algarve
                    • The Azores
                      • Central
                        • Lisbon
                          • Madeira
                            • Northern Portugal
                            • Tourism and the Economy

                                • Figure 1: Tourism expenditure in Portugal, 2006-10
                                • Figure 2: Revenue by country of residence from top ten tourism markets, 2008-11
                            • Arrivals

                              • International
                                • Figure 3: International Arrivals to Portugal’s hotels and similar establishments, by region, 2006-10
                                • Figure 4: International and domestic arrivals and overnights in hotels and similar establishments, 2004-11
                                • Figure 5: Number of overnight guests in Portugal's hotels and similar establishments, 2008-10
                                • Figure 6: Number of overnight guests in Portugal's hotels and similar establishments, 2010-11
                              • Domestic
                              • Market Characteristics

                                • International
                                  • Purpose of visit
                                    • Seasonality
                                      • Figure 7: Seasonal arrivals to Portugal's Hotels and similar establishments, by month, 2011*
                                    • Length of stay
                                      • Figure 8: Average length of stay in Portugal, 2006-10
                                    • Other market characteristics
                                      • Domestic
                                        • Purpose of visit
                                          • Seasonality
                                            • Length of stay
                                            • Transport

                                                • Air
                                                  • Figure 9: Passengers disembarking at international airports in Portugal, 2009-11
                                                • Road
                                                  • Rail
                                                    • Sea
                                                      • Figure 10: Number of cruises and passengers to Portugal's ports, 2009-10
                                                  • Accommodation

                                                      • Figure 11: Number of establishments, rooms and beds by type in Portugal, 2010 and 2011
                                                      • Figure 12: Global results from tourism activity, 2011
                                                      • Figure 13: Nights spent in accommodation establishments, by type, 2009-10
                                                      • Figure 14: Overnights by region and country of residence for key markets, 2010
                                                      • Figure 15: Nights spent in all accommodation establishments by domestic visitors per region, 2002-11
                                                  • Tourism News

                                                    • What Next?

                                                      Travel and Tourism - Portugal - February 2012

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