The number of overnight visitors to Portugal from China jumped 44 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2016, to more than 37,000, Portuguese newspaper Expresso reported.
The number of overnight stays by Chinese visitors to the European nation has increased for seven years in a row, from 47,100 nights in 2009 to more than 271,300 nights in 2015, the media outlet added.
Luís Araújo, President of the Turismo de Portugal institute, was quoted saying that Chinese nationals have a “strong appetite” for Portugal, both in terms of tourism and investment.
Turismo de Portugal, a body under Portugal’s Ministry of Economy, is now looking for ways to encourage Chinese tourists to stay longer in Portugal, said Mr Araújo, adding that Chinese visitors stay fewer than two days on average.
Turismo de Portugal will increase its use of online social media to draw more Chinese visitors to the European nation; to invite Chinese journalists to visit the country; and to produce more promotional material in Chinese, Mr Araújo said.
The institute would also like tourism schools to receive Chinese nationals that want to study tourism in Portugal, as well as to attract more Chinese to live in Portugal and work in the tourism sector, he added.