Chinese celebrate Year of the Sheep by doubling reservations for Portugal

As the Year of the Sheep fast approaches, Turismo de Portugal has reported that Chinese visitor numbers are up 50% on the same period last year.

“Data is not yet definitive”, Turismo’s boss João Cotrim de Figueiredo told Lusa. But information coming in from airline companies would suggest that “Portugal is benefitting from interest by Chinese tourists”.

The celebration of the lunar year is the largest in the Chinese calendar – equivalent to our own New Year. With the fall in the value of the euro, Chinese are being encouraged to visit Europe, adds Lusa.

According to figures that are available, Chinese tourists brought 33.5 million into Portugal in 2014. That is almost double the income of the year before.

Chinese New Year this year falls on Thursday February 19.