LISBON, Feb. 14: The Portuguese tourism sector experienced a record year in 2017, the National Statistics Institute (INE) announced on Wednesday.
Some 20.6 million people spent at least one night in tourist accommodation in Portugal in 2017, almost double the total population of the country.
Each guest stayed an average of 2.79 nights, making for a grand total of 57.5 million overnight stays.
The overall number of guests thus grew 8.9 percent compared with 2016, which was itself a 9.2 percent increase on 2015.
The overnight total grew 7.4 percent over 2016, which itself climbed 9.6 percent year-on-year.
The domestic market accounted for 7.96 million of the overall number of guests, with foreign visitors totaling 12.67 million.
The number of overnight stays by foreign visitors has grown by 55.5 percent in 10 years.
Britain leads the way in tourist numbers, accounting for 22.3 percent of guests. German represent 13.6 percent, Spaniard 9.7 percent and French 9.5 percent.
From further afield, Brazilian and North American tourists grew by a third in 2017.
Lisbon and the Algarve remained the biggest draws, accounting for 14.3 million and 19 million overnight stays respectively.