Tourism in Portugal

Tourism in Portugal

Portugal recorded a total of 16 million tourists in 2018, ranking 25th in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Portugal, the result is much more comparable picture: With 1.6 tourists per resident, Portugal ranked 45th in the world. In Southern Europe, it ranked 10th.

Portugal generated around 24.11 billion US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 10.09 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 12 percent of all international tourism receipts in Southern Europe.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism


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The most popular cities in Portugal for international travelers are Lissabon and Porto. In 2018, Lissabon ranked 63rd among the world's most popular cities with 3.54 million tourists. Porto was in 96th place with 2.34 million tourists.

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2018 spent about 1,330 US Dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Portugal spend as much as 2,344 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Development of the tourism sector in Portugal from 1995 to 2018

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Portugal each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 14 countries in Southern Europe.

Tourists per year in Portugal

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 5.65 billion USD, or about 4.8 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 4.57 million tourists at that time and roughly 1,235 USD per person. Within 23 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 24.11 billion USD, accounting for 9.9 percent of the gross national product. Each visitor now spends an average of 1,489 USD for his holiday in Portugal.

Tourism receipts in Portugal per year

All data for Portugal in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
19954.57 m5.65 bn $4.8 %1,235 $
19964.57 m5.57 bn $4.5 %1,220 $
19974.80 m5.42 bn $4.6 %1,129 $
19985.54 m6.39 bn $5.2 %1,154 $
19995.38 m6.05 bn $4.7 %1,124 $
20005.60 m6.03 bn $5.1 %1,076 $
20015.39 m6.26 bn $5.2 %1,161 $
20025.56 m6.64 bn $4.9 %1,194 $
20035.38 m7.68 bn $4.7 %1,426 $
20045.65 m8.90 bn $4.7 %1,574 $
20055.77 m9.04 bn $4.6 %1,567 $
20066.35 m10.48 bn $5.0 %1,651 $
20076.79 m12.95 bn $5.4 %1,907 $
20086.96 m14.07 bn $5.4 %2,021 $
20096.44 m12.34 bn $5.1 %1,917 $
20106.76 m12.98 bn $5.5 %1,922 $
20117.26 m14.91 bn $6.1 %2,053 $
20127.50 m14.58 bn $6.7 %1,943 $
20139.18 m16.08 bn $7.1 %1,752 $
201410.50 m17.58 bn $7.7 %1,674 $
201511.72 m16.01 bn $8.0 %1,365 $
201613.36 m17.35 bn $8.4 %1,299 $
201715.43 m21.59 bn $9.8 %1,399 $
201816.19 m24.11 bn $9.9 %1,489 $


All data correspond to the information of the World Tourism Organization.