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Tour Operators and SATA Airlines are increasing their packages to Portugal

U.S. Tourism to Portugal continues to be on the rise

Last year was a great year for American tourism in Portugal, actually the best in the past decade, and 2011 looks even more promising. With Portuguese businesses seeing strong growth in 2010 and the U.S. market growing in double digits for the Portuguese hotel industry, tour operators and SATA Airlines are starting to increase their travel packages to Portugal.

Collette Vacations, an international tour, cruise and vacation operator are adding two new Portugal only itineraries for 2010 stating, “Portugal continues to offer a tremendous value and a unique blend of old world charm, rich cultural experiences, a great climate and terrific cuisine.” After expanding their program to Portugal, President and CEO of Escapade Vacations A. Ady Gelber was very pleased with his choice to expand saying, “Taking into consideration Portugal’s cosmopolitan cities, deluxe accommodation at reasonable pricing, wonderful weather and only six hours from New York City, it’s the ideal “new” destination to promote.” He also stated that “business to Portugal has increased by at least 30 percent this year,” and they are expecting an increase in 2011 as well.

Escapade and Collette Vacations are not the only tour operators raving about Portugal. Grand Circle Travel Chairman Alan E. Lewis noted that, “Portugal is a wonderfully warm and welcoming country with so much to do and see…We are delighted by the opportunity to bring so many Americans to Portugal and look forward to bringing many more in 2011 and beyond.”

In the past year, American hotel guests in Portugal were up 12.6%, and American overnights were up 9.4%. The Azores saw a 26% increase in American travel, and Lisbon was highlighted in popular American media such as ABC’s Bachelorette, the J. Crew catalogue and the ever so popular Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. AARP named Portugal one of the best places to retire and Porto, Portugal was named sustainable and feted in Style magazine.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.