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Portuguese Travel Sector Grows Twice Faster than the European Average

News Portugal has been one of the hottest destinations recently. Hotels in Lisbon and Porto are getting full with guests, and foodies crown the country as a new gastronomic mecca. In this situation, there is nothing strange in the fact that the travel and tourism sector of Portugal is growing faster than the European average. It is getting so big that every one in five people in Portugal worked in this sector last year. That being said, it is clear that tourism is a crucial factor for the development of Portugal’s economy.

In the annual review of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), it is possible to see more information about the importance of the travel industry in the country and its both economic and social impact. This review is not new as WTTC has been preparing it annually for almost 30 years. The information provided casts the light upon the global travel & tourism sector in 2018 and the Portuguese sector as a part of it.

Here is the information available in the review. Last year, the Portuguese travel & tourism sector grew by 8.1%. It contributed 38.4 billion euro to the economy of the country. Currently, the sector is responsible for 19.1% of total economic activity in Portugal. The growth level is significantly higher than the average growth in this sector in the European Union – 3.1%. At the moment, more than one million people (1.05 million) work in travel & tourism sector in Portugal. This means that 21.8% of all jobs in the county are in this sector. The ratio of international and domestic travelers is 69% vs. 31%. Portugal mostly attracts leisure tourists rather than business travelers – the ration of leisure vs. business is 85% vs. 15%.

The forecast for this year is optimistic – WTTC predicts that Portugal’s travel & tourism sector will grow by 5.3% in 2019. At the same time, the forecast for the European Union is only 2.5%, which means that tourism in Portugal grows twice faster than the European average. Last year was definitely strong for the country, and tourism kept reinforcing the country’s economy and creating more jobs. 2018 was the eighth consecutive year, in which Portugal’s tourism outpaced the European average.

According to experts, Portugal has much to develop. The country currently actively develops its leisure travel sector while business travel is somewhat neglected. Yet, it can become a powerful booster for travel & tourism and Portugal’s economy in general. At the moment, the spending of business travelers is only 15%, which is lower than the EU’s average of 21%.


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