Portugal’s Tourism Industry Booms in 2023 with Record-Breaking Numbers

Portugal’s Tourism Industry Booms in 2023 with Record-Breaking Numbers

In 2023, Portugal’s tourism industry experienced remarkable growth. Hotel revenues soared, and there was a significant rise in wine tourism in the Alentejo region.

Portugal remains a highly desirable destination, attracting travelers from all around the world.

Hotel revenues reach new heights

A study by Informa D&B found that Portuguese hotel revenues surged by a remarkable 20.1% in 2023, reaching €6.02 billion.

This increase was seen in all regions, with Lisbon, the North, and the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira showing the strongest growth.

Wine tourism as a flourishing attraction

The Alentejo region, known for its long-standing winemaking history and globally renowned wines, experienced a 27% increase in wine tourism compared to the previous year.

Francisco Mateus, president of the Regional Wine Commission Alentejana (CVRA), emphasized the important role of wine tourism in boosting the region’s economy and attracting visitors.

According to data from CVRA, the Alentejo region welcomed a total of 160,148 wine tourism visitors in 2023, a significant rise from 126,030 visitors in 2022. 

Among them, Portuguese tourists made up half of all visitors, followed by Brazilians andAmericans.

Other noteworthy markets included Switzerland, Spain, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

The UK’s enduring allure

In March 2023, the UK remained the main source of overnight stays in Portugal, showing a 9.3% increase compared to March 2022.

Germany and Spain also saw significant growth, with Spain experiencing the highest surge among the top markets at 47.5%.

All regions in Portugal experienced an increase in overnight stays, with the West and Tagus Valley, the Center, and Alentejo regions leading the way. 

Accommodation occupancy rates also improved, with net bed occupancy reaching 42.2% and room occupancy at 51.7% in March.

Sustained growth amidst evolving trends

The tourism numbers for March were boosted by the Easter holiday period, which fell across March and April in 2023.

This led to more guests and overnight stays during those months.

Spur in new travel requirements

Portugal’s thriving tourism industry has important implications for visitors to the European Union (EU) and potential immigrations. 

With the introduction of ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) in mid-2025, travelers from visa-exempt countries will require pre-travel authorization to enter the Schengen area, which includes Portugal. 

This enhanced security measure aims to screen visitors before their arrival, ensuring a smooth yet secure travel process.

Tailoring policies to match flourishing tourism

The impressive expansion of Portugal’s tourism industry might lead to a reassessment of EU country immigration policies. 

With the country drawing in various visitors, such as families, investors, digital nomads, and students, policymakers may think about adjusting regulations to suit different types of travelers more smoothly. 

Aligning immigration rules with changing tourism patterns could make it easier for long-term travelers to have a great experience while keeping strong security measures like ETIAS in place.

A promising future awaits

As Portugal’s tourism industry keeps growing, its appeal as a destination for both hotel stays and wine tourism stays strong. 

With its variety of attractions, including famous wines and vibrant cultural experiences, Portugal is set to draw more visitors from across the globe.