New Luxury Tourism in Portugal

New Luxury Tourism in Portugal

World Travel and Tourism

We had already mentioned in one of our publications that over the last decade, our country has been one of those chosen by the foreign market to visit, invest and reside. It is with great pleasure that we see that this trend will continue in 2024, in particular and with a significant increase, of the North American market. One of the main reasons for this is somewhat related to the increase in regional connections that were created and some maintained between Portugal and the North American continent.

Tourism in Portugal continues to rise and foreigners continue to arrive at Portuguese airports every day. We are facing a new “luxury segment”, which includes citizens of that country who are visiting Portugal for the first time.

According to the National Statistics Institute, in June, 81.7% of passengers disembarking at Portuguese airports were foreigners, totalling 2.6 million. After Europe (which represents 68.9%), the North American continent was the second main origin, accounting for 9% of the total number of passengers disembarked, an increase of 11.7% compared to June last year. An increase that, according to the general secretary of Laurel (Portuguese Association of Brands of Excellence) is good, because the average consumption of an American is twice that of a European. In practice, an American can spend on average in Portugal between two or three thousand euros per day. We are facing a new luxury tourism in Portugal that seeks history and tradition.

If previously the main reasons for choosing our country were related to nature, culture, gastronomy, wines and climate, this new luxury segment seeks new experiences, preferably real and authentic ones. Look for what is simple, organic and that returns traditions and legacies of Portuguese ancestral wisdom, from our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, local traditions to up to the present day.

In relation to the North American market, they seek to get to know the region, discover the destination, have the experience of walking with a shepherd, walking on the beach and catching limpets with a fisherman. In particular, this market, which has a much shorter history than ours, aims to learn about our roots and the origin of things, that is, to learn about our heritage.

With the emergence and increase of this type of demand, even the hotel market has been changing and adapting. We are currently witnessing an explosion of small independent hotel units with an accommodation load of between 20 and 50 rooms. These are spaces that literally blend into the authenticity of the place where they choose to be born or rehabilitated, because this is actually what these guests are looking for. Here the concept of luxury becomes time, silence, feeling, walking barefoot, giving real value to what we don’t give daily.

The World Travel & Tourism Council estimates that the tourism sector could contribute 17.4% to the national GDP this year and that there will be an annual increase of 3.4% over the next decade, reaching the sector with a weight of 20. 2% in the economy by 2032.

We are a country with almost 900 years of history, of know-how. Portugal, with all that it has to offer, with its heritage, must be able to make its way among brands of excellence and luxury. If Portugal is able to continue selling its originality with quality, success is guaranteed.


Ana Pintor

Martinez-Echevarria Communication Department