The number of tourists in Portugal is growing exponentially. This is according to recent research completed by the country’s National Institute of Statistics (PNIS). Perhaps the most probable explanation for this gradual rise is a result of Portugal’s newest attraction: its rich food culture. While Portugal may be a haven for interesting natural attractions, the Portuguese cuisine has also put the country on the world map. Today, you will find Portuguese cuisine in many international hotels, whether here in Canada or far in the East.
In 2016, about 400,000 Americans visited Portugal, and in the following year, the country recorded almost 700,000 American visitors. This year, the numbers are expected to reach around 800,000. The most interesting part of the statistics is the fact that 68% of American visitors included food and wine tasting in their itinerary. That tells you just how much Portuguese gastronomy tourism has grown.
One of the reasons that could explain the sudden rise in food tourism is the fact that Portuguese cuisine is currently dominating the global cuisine industry. It is actually among the best cuisines as voted for by most travel websites and food & beverage experts. From the tasty paella to the variety of savory seafood, Portuguese cuisine has a lot to offer. There is also the selection of wines, from red wines to the world’s best dry wines.
The other thing could be the fact that now, flying to Portugal from America is easier. The Portuguese national airline, TAP, has daily flights to Lisbon from JFK Airport and Monday to Friday flights from Newark to Lisbon. You can also catch bi-weekly flights from Newark to Porto.
Lastly, Cristiano Ronaldo, a Portuguese citizen and the most popular and wealthiest footballer on earth, has interests in the Portuguese hotel industry. Considering the player’s huge following, all soccer fans visiting Portugal are bound to pay tribute to his chain of hotel establishments.