“Portugal has never had so many tourists” – this is how newspapers are describing the incredibly successful year 2016 is being for Portugal’s tourism sector. If all goes as expected, it will live up to the hype and become a record-breaker.
Indeed the first half of the year has broken records with an unprecedented 8.5 million tourists in the country, a 10.2% increase compared to 2015.
The data was revealed by Portugal’s statistics institute (INE) which shows that the number of holidaymakers has grown consistently since 2012.
June was also considered the best month since INE started keeping records (2006), with a record 1.9 million tourists in Portugal.
The number of hotel bookings also soared 10.9% in the first half of 2016, reaching 23 million.
Both foreign (+10.5%) and national tourists (+7.3%) contributed to the increase, says INE.
From abroad, British holidaymakers continue to account for the largest percentage of tourists (27.7%), followed by Germans (13.3%) and French (11.1%).
Lisbon and the Algarve remain the most popular destinations, being the top pick by 39.5% of tourists within Portugal.
However, it was the Azores archipelago (+14.1%) and the Alentejo (14%) that saw the largest boosts in the number of hotel bookings this year.
Photo by: Helio Ramos