Portugal – As the winter season sets in and U.S. vacationers look for a warmer adventure on a budget; Portugal offers an affordable, and exciting destination.
Even in the current times of economical trouble, Portugal has found its silver lining. The U.S. market increased in 2011 to Portugal’s 5th largest, in terms of per capita spending. This comes after the number of U.S. traveler to Portugal tripled in 6 years. In the first seven months of the year, American spending in Portugal hit 194.3 millions Euros, a 20.4% increase over 2010. In the same period, hotel overnights by Americans in Portugal grew by 8.3% to 156,886 while the number of Americans staying in Portuguese hotels grew at a rate of 8%. After Brazil (up 40.5 %), the United States (22.1 %) showed the biggest increases over 2010, according to data released by the Portugal News.
With this increased tourism from the United States, many Portuguese hotels and resorts are dropping their prices in the face of an international economic downturn and creating new packages to entice new travelers. Hotels like the four star HF Fénix Porto offering a fully prepaid, all-inclusive suite for 93 euros, $119, a night, and the four star Mira Villas Hotel offering rooms at an average price of 57 euros, $73 dollars a night. More hotel deals include another four star hotel, the Hotel Villa Batalha where a couple can stay each night for only 80 euros. In the town of Ferreira do Zêzere, a couple can spend a romantic night in a room over looking the prestine Zêzere Valley at the Estalagem Lago Azul hotel for 68 euros. In the Azores, Terceira Mar Hotel offers a romantic package with upgrades to a junior suite, sparkling wine and chocolates, and all overlook the ocean, for only 91 euros a night.
Where to go from here?
With the decreasing prices of exciting hotels and resorts, Portugal has become a major tourist destination for many U.S. couples and families. Even in an economic crisis, Portugal has found a way to stimulate their tourism and build upon a new market.
A recent study by Hotels.com shows that Portuguese hotels are the most affordable of any major destination in Europe. Hotel prices in Portugal went down by 12 percent during the period from October to December 2008 – making Portugal one of the most affordable destinations to stay in hotel in all of Europe. According to the Hotel Price Index on Hotels.com, the average night now costs 77 euros, not the 87 euros of one year ago. Of the 19 Europe nations studied, Portugal was the least expensive in terms of average nightly rate. Both Lisbon and Porto saw rates drop by 10 percent, and Albufeira was the most affordable city with an average rate of just 50 euros. The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) is a regular survey of hotel prices in major city destinations across the world.
Portugal offers a unique, European experience, as there are several distinct areas throughout the country visitors can explore. According to trip advisor the top destinations to visit in Portugal are Lisbon, Porto, Lagos, Cascais and Faro. Traveling to each region provides visitors with an opportunity to see all aspects of the country.
According to recent reviews about trips to Portugal on Trip advisor, it is easy to manage, affordable, not far away, very friendly, delicious, filled with more than 2,000 years of history, and beautiful in countless, unique ways. It is a nonstop visual feast of dazzling azulejos (tiles), Manueline architecture, medieval castles, clear blazing skies, Roman ruins and dizzying vistas.
Portugal offers visitors a number of places to stay, including hotels, Pousadas, villas, and manor houses. Several hotels are available throughout the year in all locations of Portugal. Pousadas are found in various castles, mansions and palaces throughout Portugal. Manor houses are usually farm cottages or houses that give guests a true Portuguese feel. Villas, which are popular among vacationers, offer scenic views.
More at www.insideportugaltravel.com