New Study Reveals Extent Of Reduced Tourism Season On Portuguese Economy

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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New Study Reveals Extent Of Reduced Tourism Season On Portuguese Economy

Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve were the hardest hit by reduced tourism numbers in Portugal during the summer months, a new analysis of bank card transactions by SIBS, in partnership with Turismo de Portugal, has found.

The Destinos de Verão study found that international bank card transactions fell by 48% during the summer, as a result of reduced tourist numbers.

Transactions By Country

Compared to the previous year, transactions made with British bank cards were down by more than half (-52%), with transactions made with German cards down 35%, French cards down 33% and Spanish cards down 30%.

Transactions made with US bank cards were down 78%, however this is off a lower base.

In Lisbon, bank card transactions (either domestic or international) fell by a third (-32%), while Porto was down by close to a quarter (-23%) and the Algarve by 15%.


Within the Algarve region, the Loulé district, which includes the Villamoura resort, saw transactions down 17%.

At the same time, due to lower domestic tourism, card transactions were higher in interior regions of Portugal, including Manteigas (34%), Terras de Bouro (16%), Porto Santo (5%) and Grândola (3%).

'Significant Changes'

“The summer of 2020 brought significant changes in the consumption patterns of Portuguese and tourists," commented Gonçalo Amaro, director of digital and e-commerce at SIBS a payment solutions and services provider.

"Portuguese consumption mitigated the fall in global consumption this summer but this was insufficient to offset the 48% reduction in consumption by foreign cards in Portugal."


He added that the main coastal regions of Portugal were "greatly impacted by the reduction in international tourism", however some traditionally less populated areas saw an uplift in business.

Retail Performance

For the first half of the year, Portuguese retailer Sonae MC said that it posted turnover of 9% and like-for-like sales growth of 6%, helped by both the performance of its hypermarkets (which saw increased traffic due to their 'wide spaces and perceived safe environment'), proximity stores and online.

Rival Jerónimo Martins, however, saw its Pingo Doce supermarket banner posted a 2.9% decrease in sales (-2.8% on a like-for-like basis).

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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