Portugal's tourism sector is fighting hard to recover from the damage wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, with hotels and beaches now given the green light to reopen in early June. Reinvention through digital technology will be key to whether the sector emerges stronger from the crisis, industry players have stressed, noting tech solutions will boost communication and enable better safety – thereby winning visitors' trust.
Tourism is Portugal's largest economic sector, representing 16.5% of GDP. The country enjoyed record numbers of visitors in 2019, at 27m, including foreign and domestic tourists – making it the only bright spot in the local economy before the Covid-19 outbreak – as exports and domestic demand were already slowing worryingly even then.
As part of its Covid-19 aid package for the beleaguered economy, the Portuguese government has announced financial support totaling €1.7bn for tourism and related sectors, including €900m in