It is an established fact that tourism in Portugal has been on the rise for some years now. The fact that revenue from tourism and the numbers of visitors who visit us are increasing comes as no surprise for anyone. At least if they are mentioned in passing, without specifying any numbers and without trying to show what is really happening. This is what we aim to do in this article: we already know that tourism is growing, but how much? After analysing the travel and tourism caption of the Balance of Payments for 2015 (Pordata) we see that the revenue from this sector increased by 9.5% over the previous year, surpassing 11,000 million Euros! It reached its highest value, having been growing since 2010 – the year in which it recorded a little over 7,500 million Euros.
Again in 2015, expenses were around 3,600 million Euros and the official value of the final balance was a considerable 7,750.1 million Euros (in 2010 it did not even reach 5 million). In order for us to better understand these numbers we have to put them into context and to do so we should understand the average daily expenditure of each tourist in Portugal – it is also pertinent to compare it to the values abroad.
The cost of living in Portugal is relatively lower and is reflected in the data: the average daily expenditure per tourist in our country in 2015 was 25.20 Euros – abroad it was over 58€ (!). And these values had already seen better days: in 2014 in Portugal the value was 26.3€ per day. Nothing out of the ordinary, sure, but then our numbers never are… While abroad, in 2014, the data shows that a tourist’s expenses were over 70€ per day!
The conclusion is obvious: there is a big difference between the average daily expenditure in Portugal and abroad. Visiting our country is substantially cheaper – which is what attracts many tourists. But to what point do we have to be so affordable? Would a price increase be viable and would this be reflected in an even greater increase in revenue for Portuguese tourism? Has this measure already been put into practice? We await fresh data.