Double-digit growth for sixth year

A drive to raise quality brings handsome returns for European favourite.

March 09, 2017
Portugal is planning more hotels.
Photo: Christian Wyrwa

Investment in hotels and other tourism infrastructure is paying off as Portugal basks in the warmth of rising tourist numbers. The southern European destination enjoyed its sixth successive year of double-digit growth in 2016, with an 11.4 per cent rise to 11.5 million international visitors. German arrivals increased nearly 10 per cent to 1.2 million.

Ana Mendes Godinho, tourism state secretary, said many guests are surprised by the quality of Portuguese hotels. Around forty upmarket properties, many of them operated by international hotel groups, have opened in the last five years. The tourism ministry now plans to convert 30 historical monuments, such as convents and palaces, into more hotels.

Portugal also celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Fatima pilgrimage site this year with heavier marketing of the country’s many pilgrim routes.

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