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Portugal is the World’s Leading Destination as More than 1 Million Americans are forecast to Visit Portugal in 2019

Portugal was anointed as the World’s Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards 2019, for the third year in a row.

Turismo de Portugal won for the third time the title of World’s Leading Tourism Board 2019 and Lisbon is the World’s Leading City Break Destination 2019. Madeira Island is, for the fifth time in a row, the ‘Best Island Destination in the World.’

And, in 2019, more than one million Americans are expected to visit Portugal, a record for the European nation after more than five years of double-digit growth. In 2017, a record 685,200 US visitors came to Portugal, up 35.3% from 2016. In 2018, 828,300 Americans visited, which represents a 20.1% increase. Between January and August this year, 763,000 Americans have already visited, up 19.5% over the first 8 moths of 2018 – and a clear path to passing the 1 million American visitors mark.

Luis Araujo, president of the Portuguese Tourism Authority Turismo de Portugal, told the Travel Market Report that “word-of-mouth among Americans is huge.” 

Portugal has earned major media coverage as well as awards for its diverse culture, unique cuisine and pleasant climate. And this year there were big news, as TAP Portugal has grown its non-stop route map adding services to and from Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., to the New York, Newark, Boston, and Miami routes.

While Lisbon and Porto have seen their hotel and inn offerings boom, the rest of the country is seeing a host of new infrastructure and lodging, with new 5-star hotels opening across the Douro, Alentejo, Algarve, Madeira, Azores and Centro de Portugal.

In total, Portugal won 12 awards in the grand final of the World Travel awards:

1. World’s Leading Destination 2019

2. World’s Leading Tourist Board 2019

3. World’s Leading Island Destination 2019 Madeira Islands

4. World’s Leading City Break Destination 2019 Lisbon

5. World’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction 2019 Passadiços do Paiva (Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark), Portugal

6. World’s Leading Conservation Company 2019 Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua, Portugal

7. World’s Leading Airline to Africa 2019 TAP Air Portugal

8. World’s Leading Airline to South America 2019 TAP Air Portugal

9. World’s Leading Inflight Magazine 2019 Up Magazine (TAP Air Portugal)

10. World’s Leading Golf & Villa Resort 2019 Dunas Douradas Beach Club, Portugal

11. World’s Leading Classic Hotel 2019 Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel, Portugal

12. World’s Leading Boutique Hotel Operator 2019 Amazing Evolution Management, Portugal

Winners of the World Travel Awards are based on a yearlong, online voting campaign. Votes from the public carry a weighting of one, while votes cast by travel professionals carry a weighting of two. Finalists for the grand finale are made of up winners from the regional awards and are recognized by the WTA.

Portugal is a unique gem of Europe.  While the country has eight centuries of history with marvelous castles and architecture, it is also a must-visit place for foodies. Portugal has the biggest exclusive fishing zone in Europe, making seafood fresh and affordable. Local cuisine is vegetarian-friendly as well, offering hearty soups, stews and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Pop music lovers of all ages will enjoy local music festivals. www.visitportugal.com

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