Portugal: Chinese tourist bookings up over 50 pct in February

Bookings from Chinese tourists to Portugal this month increased more than 50 percent compared to February last year, said João Cotrim de Figueiredo, President at Turismo de Portugal, the country’s tourism authority.

The growth was determined after “surveying airlines” about their flights closer to Chinese New Year, which this year falls on February 19.

“The available data is not definitive,” but the preliminary results “indicate that Portugal may benefit from the demand from Chinese tourists,” Mr Figueiredo told Lusa news agency.

“It is expected that the [fall in the] exchange rate stimulates consumption from Chinese tourists during their visit to Portugal,” he added.

Official data showed that revenue from Chinese tourists in Portugal totalled 33.5 million euros (US$38 million) in the first eight months of 2014, more than doubling from the prior-year period.

The number of Chinese visitors to Portugal in the first half of 2014 increased by 69 percent year-on-year to 55,400, according to official figures.