The influential magazine Travel + Leisure just announced that Portugal is its “Destination of the Year” for 2016.
Although it almost fell into bankruptcy during the height of the EU crisis, Portugal has become one of the most popular travel destinations in recent years. In some ways, the economic malaise may have helped attract tourists to Portugal, since the discounted rates of traveling to Portuguese resort towns garnered great attention from tourists.
Recent data in the newspaper Portugal News shows that foreign tourism into Portugal has grown 10 percent in 2015 alone. Analysts believe this number will only rise in 2016.
Interestingly, Americans are visiting Portugal at higher rates than ever before. New research shows travelers from the USA to Portugal grew 22 percent in 2016. The increase in flight bookings for Portugal, up an astonishing 119 percent in North America alone, has greatly helped Portugal’s airlines called TAP. There are now eight cities in the USA that fly direct to Portugal.
So why is Portugal such a desirable location for so many tourists? One reason is that Portugal has temperate weather all year round. Although the summer months are more popular, there really isn’t a “bad” time to visit this nation.
Another great reason to visit Portugal is that it’s less expensive and less crowded than other European nations. Portugal’s famous capital Lisbon has only 3.5 million average foreign tourists. Compare that with the 20 million foreign tourists visiting London, the 18 million tourists visiting Paris, or even the 7 million tourists visiting Rome.
Whether you are into culture, cuisine, nature, or adventure, you are sure to find something in Portugal to suit your fancy. There is a reason why Portugal is growing on the travel scene nowadays, but you should check it out before this relatively well-kept destination secret becomes the next tourist trap.