Portuguese American Journal

Travel: Americans visiting Portugal has significantly increased – Portugal

The number of Americans visiting Portugal has significantly increased, the National Statistics Institute (INE) has reported.

In July, of a total of 1.8 million foreigners who sought mainland Portugal as a tourism destination, visitors from the United States occupy the third position among 17 top countries.

The record number of US tourists in Portugal comes at a time when the dollar and euro have been practically at par, allowing Americans to spend more money. There is also an increase in cruise tourism and more direct flights, provided by TAP Air Portugal, SATA Air Azores, United and Delta. The distance from Portugal to the war in Ukraine also favors the attraction of US tourists.

According to the INE, US tourism, which already has a share of 7.6%, “continued to stand out, with a growth of 35.9% in July, when compared to the same month of 2019.” In July, there were 183,000 US visitors in Portugal, representing a growth trend since the beginning of the year.

“The United States is discovering Portugal. Until a few years ago, it was an unknown country and there was not much the notion of [Portugal] being a European country. Reality has changed profoundly and now Portugal is on the North Americans’ map. It is identified as a safe country, with good quality of life, to live and work,” said Graça Didier, secretary general of the American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal (AmCham Portugal).

“Americans like what they see. Portugal has history and culture, privileged climate conditions, hospitality and the Portuguese in general speak English. There are also many places that are still unspoiled, such as the Alentejo Coast and the Douro,” Didier said.

Pleased with the INE data, Secretary of State for Tourism, Commerce and Services, Rita Marques, remarked, “These numbers show that the tourism sector is, today, again, an essential engine in our economy. Thanks to government support, but also and above all to the sector’s spirit of resilience and creativity, our companies are responding to demand after two very difficult years and, today, Portugal once again stands out as one of the most competitive destinations internationally.”

Among the top countries sending tourists to Portugal, Spain is the highest with more than 285,000 visitors, followed by the United Kingdom with more than 246,000 tourists.

There were also increases in Czech visitors (63%), Romanian (30.7%) and Danish (18.7%). Germany was the only country registering a drop in July, with 141 thousand tourists, 17 thousand less compared to June.

According to the INE, July 2022 will be the best month ever in terms of the number of visitors. Madeira and Algarve were the regions with the highest increase in July. The Algarve accounted for 33.1%, followed by Lisbon (22.7%), the North (15.6%), Madeira (10.5%) and the Center (10%).

The Azores also registered a significant growth in the number of visitors. The INE has revealed that, in 2022, the region recorded an increase of 510.1% in the number of foreign visitors compared to the same period in 2021.

The main countries sending tourists to the Azores are Germany in first place, followed by the United States, France, Spain, United Kingdom and Italy.

Portugal is becoming increasingly one of the most desirable tourism destinations in Europe. As a result, between April and June, there were 123 new projects for the construction of hotels that will provide 14,811 rooms. And of these, 34 projects are in Lisbon which, in the future, will bring another 3,850 beds to the capital. 



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