Published on : Friday, February 15, 2019
The number of international tourists visiting Portugal edged up to break another record last year, but the 0.4 percent increase was a far cry from the previous year’s 12 percent surge, signalling that the tourism boom is slowing.
The National Statistics Institute (INE) of Portugal, which monitors hotel stays, said total arrivals grew to 12.8 million in 2018.
The tourism in Portugal has been growing for eight years in a row, helping the country recover from a severe debt crisis and economic recession.
However, some in the industry believe it is set to reverse in 2019, party due to a drop in British visitors due to Brexit. The hotel revenues rose 6 percent last year, mainly benefiting from domestic tourism, to reach 3.6 billion euros ($4.06 billion), but that growth slowed from 16 percent a year earlier.
The holiday seekers from the UK, Portugal’s largest tourism market, stayed fewer nights in the country last year, dropping 7.3 percent. There was also a drop among German, French, Dutch and Irish visitors.
According to the International Tourism Association, Portugal received more visitors from Brazil and North America, with a 20 percent increase in the number of tourists from the United States, the data showed. The total contribution of travel and tourism to Portugal’s gross domestic product reached 17.3 percent, or 33.5 billion euros ($41.1 billion), in 2017.