The number of Chinese tourists to Portugal surged by 49.3 percent year-on-year in 2014 to 113,200, according to preliminary figures compiled by the Bank of Portugal and the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics.

The figure was revealed by the Portuguese National Tourist Office – known in Portuguese as Tourismo de Portugal – ahead of a string of tourism seminars to be held in China this week, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported.

Chinese tourists visiting Portugal spent about 54 million euros (US$60.63 million) in 2014, nearly 20 million euros more than during the previous year, Lusa reported.

Representatives from the Portuguese National Tourist Office and 12 Portuguese firms operating in the tourism sector are taking part in the seminars, to be held in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The aim is to promote the European Union country as a tourism destination.