There have never been so many tourists from the United States visiting Portugal as in July. In the seventh month of the year 183,215 guests with US passports entered the country, surpassing the record recorded in June (181,869 guests).
"The Americans are discovering Portugal. Until a few years ago, it was an unknown country, but now Portugal is on the map for North Americans. It is identified as a safe country, with good quality of life and also to live and work in," Graça Didier, secretary-general of the American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal (AmCham Portugal), told ECO.
The growth trend of US tourists in Portugal "was already happening before Covid". In 2019, there were 1,202,247 guests from the United States, which almost surpassed the Brazilian market (1,281,675). In 2022, the United States is expected to stay ahead of Brazil as the first non-European tourist market: until July, there were 766,335 Americans visiting Portugal - compared to 495,880 from Brazil.
The United States will also become the fifth country with the most tourists in Portugal, only behind the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and France. In the first seven months of the year, the UK had the most guests (1,196,174), followed by Spain (1,086,137), France (825,003) and Germany (794,772).
The record number of US tourists in Portugal comes at a time when the dollar and euro have been practically at parity, helping North Americans spend more money in Portugal. But this factor is not one of the main reasons for so many North Americans visiting the country.
"Americans like what they see. Portugal has heritage and culture, good climate conditions, hospitality and the Portuguese usually speak English. There are also many places that are still unexplored, such as the Alentejo Coast and the Douro", stresses the secretary-general of AmCham Portugal.
Portugal also attracts North Americans because of cruise tourism and direct flights, provided by TAP, United and Delta. The physical distance from Portugal to the war in Ukraine also attracts US tourists, she added.
Graça Didier believes that the North American market "will not stop growing" and anticipates more tourist records in the coming months.