It’s no secret that Portugal’s popularity has been on the rise. In July this year (2022) 1.8 million tourists visited Portugal, up 600,000 from the same month in 2021. The number of visitors this July also just surpassed the record of 1.78 million, set before the pandemic in 2019.
At the beginning of the summer season there were doubts that the records set in 2019 could even be met, let alone surpassed, as tourism earlier in the year was still significantly below pre-pandemic levels. As the warmer months hit and restrictions across the globe continued to be relaxed, the country saw an influx of visitors.
Tourism in Portugal from the United States (USA) saw a particularly significant increase, but there was also a rise in the number of tourists coming from the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. Data gathered from flight bookings made across the world showed that this year, Portugal was the fourth most popular destination in Europe in 2022.
Portugal Wins Multiple Tourism Awards
In this year’s World Travel Awards, Portugal won “Best Tourist Destination in Europe” for the fifth time in six years. Individual regions in Portugal were also given a number of different awards, with the Azores islands taking “Europe's Leading Adventure Tourism Destination” and the Algarve winning “Europe's Leading Beach Destination”.
The capital city Lisbon won “Europe's Leading City Break Destination”, “Europe's Leading Cruise Destination”, and “Europe's Leading Seaside Metropolitan Destination” and Porto took the award for “Europe's Leading City Destination”.
In total Portugal picked up over thirty different awards for its destinations, regions, products and services. This success was so significant for the country, and demonstrated how well Portugal has recovered as a tourist destination after a difficult couple of years.
Google Trends Data Shows Interest in Moving to Portugal is Increasing
Not only has tourism been on the rise, but interest in moving to Portugal has also been growing. A spike in the number of searches about moving to Portugal from across the globe was seen during the summer of 2021, and an even bigger spike was registered during the summer of 2022, according to google trends.
Data shows that the countries with the highest level of interest in moving to Portugal are the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland, South Africa, the USA, Canada and Australia. The number of searches about moving to Portugal from the United States has increased by 950% in the past 5 years, with interest likely to continue to rise over the next couple of years.
The number of search terms focused on buying real estate in Portugal overtook the number of similar searches for Spain, France, and Italy this summer. The number of searches connected to Portugal’s golden visa, and obtaining residence here for digital workers both continued to rise this year as well. Historically, searches focused on purchasing real estate in Portugal and obtaining residence, have been much lower than for other parts of the EU.
The Growth in Investment in Portugal has Been Significant
The number of people investing in different sectors of Portugal has risen steadily over the last few years. This year Portugal moved up two places to 8th place in the ranking of countries attracting the highest amount of foreign investment in Europe.
The blossoming technology industry in Portugal is at the forefront of foreign investment, with industries including construction and renewable energy following closely behind. The real estate industry also continues to attract investors, seeing as the demand for various types of property in Portugal remains significantly higher than supply.
What Does the Future Look Like for Portugal?
Given the number of benefits the country offers for both those looking to visit Portugal, and those who want to make a permanent move, it’s unlikely that the interest in Portugal will slow down at any point soon.
Portugal ranks as one of the safest countries in Europe, and across the globe. The cost of living is lower than many other countries in Europe, and year round the country has a pleasant climate with over 300 days of sunshine.
The number of tourists is likely to continue to rise, with areas that haven’t traditionally attracted as many tourists likely to see an increase in the number of visitors as well. It also appears we will continue to see a rise in the number of people interested in staying in the country for longer stretches of time, or making a permanent move to Portugal.