Tourism activity generated a direct and indirect contribution of €16.8 billion to Portugal’s GDP last year.
After the collapse of tourism in the first year of the pandemic helped explaining the three quarters of the historic 7.6% drop in GDP two years ago, this sector has turned around and contributed one third to the GDP’s recovery seen in 2021, a year in which the wealth created in Portugal grew by almost 5%.
This data is part of the preliminary estimate of the Tourism Satellite Account for 2021, in which INE estimates that tourism activity generated a direct and indirect contribution of €16.8 billion to GDP in 2021, corresponding to 8% (6.6% in 2020 and 11.8% in 2019).
The data released this Monday also reveal a nominal increase of 27.3% in the Gross Value Added generated by Tourism (GVAGT), compared to 2020. GVAGT represented 5.8% of national GVA (4.8% in 2020), still standing 2.3 percentage points below the pre-pandemic level (8.1% in 2019).
Despite the recovery seen in 2021 compared to 2020, both the values of GVAGT – totalled €10,671 million – and those of Tourism Consumption in the Economic Territory (TCET) – €21,334 million, equivalent to 10.1% of GDP – were below 2019 levels and are even lower than in 2016, the first year of the Tourism Satellite Account base.
In 2021, both tourism imports and exports increased close to 30%, compared to the previous year. However, INE highlights that “the values were still lower than those recorded in 2019: -31.0% in the case of imports and -45.6% in the case of exports.”