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Portugal as a youth destination

Aug 13, 2019

Portugal is a popular holiday destination for trips with family and friends, but data from WYSE Travel Confederation’s New Horizons Survey suggest a few other characteristics when it comes to youth and student travel and a couple of changes over time.

Between 2012 and 2017, the New Horizons Survey captured a shift toward more female visitors, and slightly older youth visitors to Portugal, also with higher levels of education. In 2012, budget airlines were much more popular than scheduled airlines for youth visits to Portugal, though scheduled airlines became more popular by 2017. Perhaps not surprising, Airbnb type accommodation became the preferred choice overall for youth visitors to Portugal in 2017 whereas in 2012 it was hostels.

Graced with pleasant weather year-round and lively waterfront cities, Portugal’s main source markets are holidaymakers from the UK, Germany and neighbouring Spain. However, Portugal also attracts young, independent visitors from further afield. Long-haul travellers from Oceania and North America tend to make Portugal a stop on multi-country trips through Europe.

Main source markets: UK, Spain, Germany
 

Students pursuing academic studies or language immersion also manage to visit Portugal as part of study trips. These visitors combining destinations and travel purposes are also spending more per trip.

Average trip spend: EUR 1,113 Portugal only   vs   EUR 2,162 Portugal + other destinations
 

Whether studying or on holiday, young travellers arriving in Portugal prefer to enjoy the atmosphere of sitting in cafes and restaurants and visiting historic sites. Most young travellers to Portugal are motivated to explore other cultures, but holidaymakers also report wanting to relax, while others are more interested to experience the everyday life in Portugal.

A small difference also exists in the accommodation choices of these two traveller types, with holidaymakers more often opting for Airbnb or similar sharing economy type lodging. Other travellers opt for hostels. This seems logical given hostels are practical social hubs for solo travellers, making it easy to connect with other travellers and activity providers in destination. 

Like what you’re reading? Connect with more industry knowledge and professionals at the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) in Lisbon, Portugal from 8-11 October 2019. It’s where the youth travel industry meets.