Tag Archives: Portugal

Portugal Scores Big Wins as ‘World’s Leading Destination’ at World Travel Awards

Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal, just one of the historic attractions that resulted in Portugal being named “World’s Leading Destination” for the third year in a row at the 2019 World Travel Awards © Dave E. Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Portugal, named “World’s Leading Destination” for the third consecutive year at the World Travel Awards, welcomed more than one million US visitors in 2019, an annual record achieved in just 10 months, following five years of double-digit growth.

Turismo de Portugal also won the title of World’s Leading Tourism Board for the third time, and Lisbon named World’s Leading City Break Destination 2019. Madeira Island was crowned “Best Island Destination in the World” for the fifth time in a row.

Tourismo de Portugal (the Portuguese National Tourism Board) released figures that showed the destination experienced an average monthly increase of 20.9%, and 22% growth in stays for 2019 with two months remaining in the year.

The growth in tourism is the result of a concerted 2027 Tourism Strategy to position Portugal as a destination to “visit, invest in, live, study and organize major events. Our aim will always be to capture more and better tourism, aligning economic growth with the ever-present concern for Portugal’s environmental and social sustainability.”

Increases in visits from Newark, Boston, New York and Miami align with improved air service on TAP Air Portugal (now a private company led by Jet Blue founder David Neeleman, SATA Air Azores, United Airlines, Delta Airlines and American Airlines.

TAP has growth its non-stop route map, adding services to and from Chicago, San Francisco and Washington DC, to the New York, Newark, Boston and Miami routes.

In total, Portugal won 12 awards in the grand final of the World Travel Awards, in addition to World’s Leading Destination 2019, World’s Leading Tourist Board, World’s Leading Island Destination (Madeira Islands) and World’s Leading City Break Destination (Lisbon).

Also: World’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction 2019 (Passadicos do Paiva – Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark); World’s Leading Conservation Company (Parques de Sintra-Monte de Lua); World’s Leading Golf & Villa Resort (Dunas Douradas Beach Club); World’s Leading Classic Hotel (Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel); and World’s Leading Boutique Hotel Operator (Amazing Evolution Management).

TAP Air Portugal won awards as World’s Leading Airline to Africa, World’s Leading Airline to South America; and World’s Leading Inflight Magazine (Up Magazine).

American tourists are responding to Portugal as a European gem. The country has eight centuries of history with marvelous castles and architecture,and is a haven for foodies, with fantastic cuisine, the biggest exclusive fishing zone in Europe (making seafood fresh and affordable. Pop music lovers come for local music festivals.

More information at www.visitportugal.com.

USTOA Tour Operators Offer Immersive Off-Season Itineraries to Portugal

Picturesque Porto, Portugal, on the Douro River. With an annual average of 3,000 hours of sunshine, this southern European country has idyllic scenery and outdoor opportunities year-round and USTOA member tour operators offer immersive itineraries. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK –Portugal beckons travelers to its historic, cobblestone villages and pristine beaches in the fall and winter, when temperatures are mild and airfare is offered at value prices. With an annual average of 3,000 hours of sunshine, this southern European country offers idyllic scenery and outdoor opportunities year-round.

When comedian Harrison Greenbaum visits Lisbon, Portugal in the travel video series “Recalculating” he ventures off to the local coastal community of Trafaria to take a cooking lesson with a group of grandmas, meet a sea captain at the beach, and even learn a few new dance moves. Tour operators of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) create immersive, fulfilling experiences for destinations like Portugal throughout the year. 

Here’s a collection of itineraries for travelers looking to book a trip to Portugal in 2020:

Jewels of Portugal – Homeric Tours’ offers a five-day trip through Lisbon with tours of Sintra’s palaces and castles, a day at the Historic Centre of Évora, and visits to Jeronimo’s Monastery, Belem Tower, and more. Departures are available between January and October 2020, starting at $1,165 per person.

Portugal In Depth – Globus’ 11-day trip stops in Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, Tomar, Viseu, and Évora for exposure to the best of Portugal’s inland communities and coastal cities. Highlights include a visit to the Church of São Francisco in Porto, an olive oil tasting in Belmonte, and a stop at the 700-year-old University of Coimbra. Departures are available between April 2020 and October 2020, starting at $1,979 per person.

Treasures of Portugal – smarTours brings guests to a collection of historic landmarks in Portugal with visits to the medieval village of Marvão, the Cathedral of Évora, the Belém Riverside District in Lisbon, and the University of Coimbra. Departures are available between April and October 2020, starting at $2,199 per person including airfare.

Portugal & The Douro River Valley – YMT Vacations offers a seven-night cruise down the Douro River and a five-night land tour stretching from Lisbon to Porto. Guests will enjoy a port wine tasting in the Douro Valley’s wine region, a walk through the streets of Sintra and Óbidos, and a visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima. Departure is available October 10, 2020, starting at $3,199 per person.

Into the Heart of Portugal – Scenic Tours USA Inc.’s 11-day luxury river cruise is hosted by a National Geographic expert and photographer. Activities include a festive flamenco performance in Salamanca, Spain, birdwatching in Porto’s wetlands, and practicing landscape photography in the Douro Valley vineyards. Departures are available between September 22 and October 2, 2020, starting at $7,395 per person. 

Other episodes of Recalculating take place in Whistler in British Colombia, New York’s Coney Island, Philadelphia, Mexico City and Slovenia. Watch them all by visiting  https://ustoa.com/recalculating

Find all Portugal itineraries by USTOA tour operators here.

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email [email protected].

For more travel features, visit:








‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures