Spain is the most important tourist market for Portugal, followed by the United Kingdom. In 2019, more than two million tourists arrived from both countries respectively. Lisbon is the most visited destination for international tourists, while the Algarve region, famous for its seaside resorts, also attracts millions of international tourists each year.
The residents of Portugal travel within their own country as well. Over a quarter of the population travel domestically each year, with only a small percent choosing to travel exclusively abroad. The Northern region of the country is the most popular destination among domestic travelers. For outbound travelers, Spain is the most attractive destination abroad.
A key segment of the Portuguese tourism sector is its hotel market. The country offers over 2.4 thousand hotels to meet travelers’ needs, with a combined capacity of over 157 thousand bedrooms. The bedroom occupancy rate of hotels had been increasing up until 2019, prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak of 2020. While the pandemic and subsequent travel regulations put a strain on the tourism sector, the number of arrivals at tourist accommodation grew in June after restrictions were eased, giving the industry hope for recovery.