Portugal fortunes rise with tourism

LONDON, 2 April 2019: Portugal’s travel and tourism sector enjoyed one of the highest growth rates in Europe to contribute €38.4 billion to the economy and one in five of all jobs in 2018, demonstrating the importance of the sector to the country.

These figures come from the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector.

The research conducted for almost 30 years by WTTC, which represents the global private sector of travel and tourism, highlights the 2018 performance at individual country level.

The study showed travel and tourism grew by 8.1% to contribute €38.4 billion (US$45.5 billion) to the Portuguese economy. This represents 19.1% of economic activity in the country.

This level of growth is the highest of any country in the European Union and significantly above the EU average of 3.1%.

The travel and tourism industry employed 1.05 million people, or 21.8% of all jobs.

Overall, the country attracted 85% leisure seekers and 15% business travellers and saw a split of 69% vs 31% in terms of international and domestic visitors.

Looking forward to 2019, WTTC predicts the Portuguese travel and tourism sector will grow by 5.3%, more than double the European average of 2.5%.

WTTC president & CEO, Gloria Guevara said: “In Portugal, travel and tourism grew at the fastest rate of any country in the European Union in 2018 and that growth is forecast to continue into 2019. Portugal has the potential to increase the size of its travel economy even further by growing the size of its business tourism sector; at present, business travellers account for only 15% of all spending in Portugal against a European average of 21%.”

The World Travel & Tourism Council represents the travel and tourism private sector globally. Members consist of CEOs of companies, destinations, and industry organisations.