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The World Travel & Tourism Council has saluted the Portuguese government for recognising the importance of the sector to the overall economy.
Making tourism a priority has resulted in the sector growing 8.1 per cent in 2018, contributing €38.4 billion to the nation’s economy.
Research conducted by WTTC shows that in 2018, €1 in every €5 euros in Portugal came from tourism.
Furthermore, the tourism sector grew by one of the highest rates in Europe and contributed one in five of all jobs in the country, further demonstrating the importance of the sector to the country.
Research also confirms the level of growth is the highest of any country in the European Union and significantly above the EU average of 3.1 per cent.
WTTC research suggests the tourism sector employed 1.05 million people in Portugal, or 21.8 per cent of all jobs.
Portugal is also predominantly a holiday destination, attracting 85 per cent leisure seekers and 15 per cent business travellers.
Named World’s Leading Destination by voters at the World Travel Awards last year, Portugal continues to attract millions of international visitors to its shores each year.
There has been strong growth from non-traditional markets such as the USA (up 21.8 per cent), Canada (up 21.3 per cent), China (up 16.8 per cent) and Brazil (up 13 per cent).
Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, commented: “I want to personally recognise Ana Godinho, secretary of state for tourism for being a champion for the sector and for delivering this ambitious strategy which has shown impressive results across the country, which only last year saw the tourism sector grow at the fastest rate of any country in the European continent, and that growth is forecast to continue.”
She added: “Tremendous strides have been made following the government’s ten-year national strategy for tourism, with revenues from the sector growing 45 per cent over the last three years.”