Why Portugal to invest in Tourism?

As member of the European Union, Portugal offers access to a market of 28 countries with around 495M consumers. Provides entry into a global market of 220M of Portuguese speaking consumers.

Portugal is the most western country of Europe, having been part of the European Union since 1986

Portugal also has a strong historical link to the sea

Area: 92.000 km2
Coastline: 2.600 km (including Atlantic islands)
Population: 10,3 million people
Education: 24% has a university degree
Languages: 60% speak a second language


forecast GDP growth for


Tourism is a strategic activity for the Portuguese economy

In 2017, tourism represented 13.7% of GDP and in 2016 9.8% of total employment (TSA).


  • GDP (Growth %) [Portugal]

Unemployment rate

  • Unemployment rate (%) [Portugal]

Tourism Receipts

  • Tourism Receipts (Billion €) [Portugal]

Portugal's Receipts rank

21st in the world  8th in Europe 5th in the Mediterranean Region (2017)

Tourism Receipts

  • 29,2% of total goods exports
  • 51,5% of total services exports
  • 18,6% of total goods and services exports

57,6 milion of overnight stays

  • 16,7 million portuguese (29,0%)
  • 40,9 million foreign (71,0%)

Of wich 40.9 million from overseas

UK 8,6
Germany 5,4
Spain 4,1
France 3,9
Brazil 2,2
Others 16,7

Overnight stays per region (share %)

North 11%
Centre 6%
Lisbon 28%
Alentejo 2%
Algarve 35%
Azores 2%
Madeira 16%

Portugal is the 34th country in the world and the 14th within European Union, among 190 countries analysed, where it's easier to do business

(Doing Business 2019 – The World Bank).

In Portugal it takes 5 days and 6 procedures to start a business. Registering a property takes just 1 day and one procedure. Portugal ranks 12th position among UE 28 countries in number of high-speed fixed broadband. Portugal is a leading country in performing operations through ATM network. Via Verde, Portuguese Electronic Toll System, is a worlwide pioneer in road toll operations.

Competitive factors of Portugal as a destination for real estate investment

Competitive conditions for investment in the property sector (prices)
The concept of property used in Portugal is “full ownership” or “freehold”
Clear and transparent tax rules, facilities for obtaining residence permits
Special tax regime for non-habitual residents
Inheritance tax revoked in Portugal
Attractiveness: climate, natural resources, languages spoken, international schools, favourable healthcare system, safety and hospitality

World Travel Awards 2018

Portugal – World’s Leading Destination e Europe’s Leading Destination
Lisbon – World’s Leading City Destination e Europe’s Leading City Destination
Lisbon – World’s Leading City Break Destination
Lisbon’s Port – Europe’s Leading Cruise Port
Madeira Islands – World’s Leading Island Destination e Europe’s Leading Island Destination
Turismo de Portugal – World’s Leading Tourist Board e Europe’s Leading Tourist Board
VisitPortugal.com – World’s Leading Tourism Authority Website

Turismo de Portugal, integrated within the Ministry of the Economy, is the national tourism authority responsible for training and qualifying the tourism sector human resources and for the technical and pedagogical research. It also coordinates, implements and recognizes the courses and vocational training actions in this area.  Moreover, it certifies the professional skills required for tourism careers.


Enhance the qualification of human resources in the sector, regarding the plans of action enrolled in “Tourism Strategy 2027” which include:

  • highlight tourism professions and the development of courses and training programs that respond to market needs;
  • knowledge transfer from educational institutions and research centers to enterprises


Turismo de Portugal also manages a network of 12 schools that aim to teach and train young people and to prepare them for their first job, improving the quality and prestige of the different tourism careers.

In January 2018 the OMT distinguished Turismo de Portugal schools training projet – known by Tourism Training Talent – with the first place in the Innovation and Public Policy category during the 14th edition of the UNWTO awards, for its example of training of future generations of human resources in the sector.

Based on the “Tourism Strategy 2027“, Tourism Training Talent (TTT) is a training program provided by our network of 12 Tourism Schools, focused essentially on people’s talents, soft skills development, innovation and internationalization of tourism professionals, as a basis for the success of the sector in Portugal.

This program aims, in particular:

  • increase the skills of students and professionals;
  • adapt training to new trends, opening schools to the community;
  • encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • expanding the role of training to other activities, enhancing careers and promoting work in tourism.

Incentive Schemes

Portugal 2020

The Portugal 2020 partnership agreement between Portugal and the European Commission for the implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds for the period 2014-2020 defines the principles and objectives of the economic, social and territorial development policy in the light of the Europe 2020 strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Operated through 16 Programs, it provides an amount of 25 billion euros to stimulate investments in the areas of Competitiveness and Internationalization, Social Inclusion and Employment, Human Capital and Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources, mobilizing, with the intervention of Turismo de Portugal, the following direct incentives to business investment:

Entrepreneurship Incentive Scheme – For innovative projects developed by SMEs under two years old, integrated in cultural and creative industries, sectors with greater intensity of technology and knowledge, or in sectors that value the application of R & D results in the production of new goods and services.

Incentive Scheme for Productive Innovation – For innovative projects developed by SMEs or non SMEs that correspond to an initial investment and that translate into the production of tradable and internationable goods and services with a high level of national incorporation.

Incentive Scheme for SME Qualification – For immaterial projects developed by SMEs in the area of competitiveness that aim at strengthening business capacity through organizational innovation.

More information here.


Three lines of credit are available to ensure the competitiveness of companies by improving financing conditions:

Credit Line for the Qualification of the Tourism Offer –  Turismo de Portugal, in partnership with the banking system, provides tourism companies with a financial instrument with moderate costs and adequate deadlines directed to projects for the requalification of tourist enterprises and local accomodation establishments, the creation of tourist enterprises and local accomodation establishments in low-density areas, and the upgrading of establishments with the distinction of “Stores with History”, as well as animation, restoration and entrepreneurship projects.

More information here.

This financing instrument includes a specific line to support the valorization of the Algarve, which aims to support investment projects aimed at enterprises, establishments and activities that contribute to the qualification and diversification of the tourism offer in that region.

More information here.

Capitalizar Turismo Credit Line – Spupports medium and long-term bank loans to finance new investment in tangible fixed assets, which form an integral part of the company´s assets and contribute to its activity, and loans to finance debt service that is too demanding compared to the level of cash-flow generated by the company.

More information here.

Capitalizar Credit Line 2018 – 1,600 million euros distributed by a set of financial instruments that respond to the different financing needs of companies.

More information here.

A financial instrument for urban rehabilitation and revitalization is also available:

IFFRU 2020 – It gathers sources of funding from Portugal 2020, as well as from the European Investment Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank, which, together with commercial bank funds, are aimed at the complete rehabilitation of buildings (for housing or other activities) located in areas of urban rehabilitation and, in addition, energy efficiency in housing, being financial products (loans or guarantees) with advantageous terms.

More information here.


The REVIVE project promotes, through private investment, the recovery and valorization of state properties with architectural, heritage, historical and cultural value.

More information here.


Each property has a technician in charge, identified at http://revive.turismodeportugal.pt/en.

The process is subject to public contracting for selection of the entity and the project to be developed.

Available Credit Lines

Credit Line with Mutual Guarantee

Financial Engineering Instruments

Turismo de Portugal participates in the capital of financial companies that support strategic investment and SMEs, investing through venture capital, mutual guarantee and real estate investment funds in innovative projects so to strengthen the competitiveness of companies in all stages of development.

More information here.

Residence Permit for Investment Activity (Golden Visa)

Third-country nationals may, with exemption from a residence visa, obtain a temporary residence permit to carry out an investment activity.


– To enter Portugal with exemption of residence visa;

– To reside and work in Portugal;

– Circulate through the Schengen area, without visa requirements;

– Benefit from family reunification;

– Request the granting of Permanent Residence Authorization under the terms of the Aliens Act;

– Possibility of requesting the acquisition of Portuguese nationality, by naturalization, fulfilling the other requirements required by the Nationality Law.

Alternative requirements:

– Transfer of capital in the amount of EUR 1 million or more;

– Creation of at least 10 jobs;

– Acquisition of immovable property worth 500 thousand euros or more;

– Acquisition of immovable property, whose construction has been completed for at least 30 years or located in an urban rehabilitation area, with rehabilitation of property;

– Transfer of capital in an amount equal to or greater than 350 thousand euros, which is applied in research activities carried out by public or private scientific research institutions, integrated in the national scientific and technological system;

– Transfer of capital in the amount of 250 thousand euros or more, which is applied in investment or support to the artistic production, recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage;

– Transfer of capital in the amount of € 350,000 or more, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds for the capitalization of companies;

– Transfer of capital amounting to € 350,000 or more, for the creation of a commercial company with its head office in Portugal, together with the creation of five permanent jobs, or to increase the share capital of a commercial company with headquarters in the national territory, already constituted, together with the creation or maintenance of jobs, with a minimum of five permanents and for a minimum period of three years.

How to apply:

Mandatory online registration to start the procedure at https://ari.sef.pt/account/default.aspx

More information at www.sef.pt/en.

Tourist Utility

Qualification attributed to touristic enterprises that meet a set of requirements regarding location, construction, equipment and services and that fit into tourism public policy.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Companies that obtain this qualification may enjoy, under the terms of the applicable legislation, exemptions from the IMT (Municipal Tax on Real Estate Transfer) with a stamp duty reduction of one fifth, and from the IMI on Real Estate for seven years), as well as any fees due to the General Inspection of Cultural Activities.

Who can benefit:

New developments can apply, beforehand (after the approval of the project or after previous communication with deadline not rejected, or after delivery of the project in the competent city council with favorable opinion from Turismo de Portugal and accompanied with proof of provision of security) or definitively (up to six months after the opening to the public).

Also already existing developments can apply, if they are subject to remodeling, improvement, total or partial re-equipment or capacity increase by no less than 50%.

How to get:

The requests are addressed to Turismo de Portugal by electronic means, through the Tourism Utility Management System (SiGUT).

More information here.

Investment Tax Incentives

Companies that wish to invest in the tourism sector can benefit from tax incentives.

Tax Benefits for Productive Investment of a Contractual Nature

Scheme of tax benefits under a contractual regime, with a term of up to 10 years from the completion of the investment project, for investment projects whose relevant applications are equal to or greater than € 3,000,000.00.


– Tax credit determined based on the application of a percentage, between 10% and 25% of the relevant investments actually carried out, to be deducted from the amount of IRC collection;

– Exemption or reduction of IMI, IMT and Stamp Duty, in respect of buildings, acts or contracts necessary and / or used in the context of relevant investments.

Who can benefit:

Promoters of investment projects, legal persons, that meet the following conditions:

– Have technical and management skills;

– Demonstrate a balanced financial situation with a financial autonomy ratio of 20% or more;

– Have an organized accounting system and their taxable profit is not determined by indirect methods;

– Finance the project with own resources or external financing corresponding to at least 25% of the eligible costs;

– Be up to date with payments to the fiscal administration and social security;

– Are not subject to an outstanding recovery order following a previous Commission decision declaring an aid illegal and incompatible with the common market;

– Not considered firms in difficulty in accordance with the guidelines for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty.

How to get:

The promoters of the investment projects must apply to AICEP, E. P. E. or IAPMEI, I.P., according to their respective guidelines.

More information here.

Tax Regime for Investment Support

It constitutes a set of tax benefits that operate on Income Taxes and on Property Taxes.


– IRC tax deduction of a percentage of the investments made in tangible and intangible assets;

– Exemption or reduction of IMI, IMT and Stamp Duty, in respect of buildings, acts or contracts necessary and / or used in the context of relevant investments.

Who can benefit:

Legal persons who carry out an activity in the sectors envisaged, including tourism.

More information here.

Retained or Reinvested Profits Deduction

Applicable to retained profits that are reinvested in relevant applications.


IRC tax deduction for tax periods beginning on or after January 1, 2014, up to 10% of retained earnings that are reinvested in relevant applications, within a period of three years from the end of the tax period to which the retained earnings correspond, up to 25% of the tax assessed (50% for micro and small companies).

Who can benefit:

IRC taxpayers resident in the Portuguese territory and non-residents with a permanent establishment in this territory who carry out, mainly, an activity of a commercial, industrial or agricultural nature, with the exception of the fishing, aquaculture and primary agricultural production sectors.

More information here.

Installation of Companies in the Interior Territories

This scheme aims to encourage the establishment of companies in inland territories.


IRC rate of 12.5% applicable to the first € 15,000.00 of taxable income.

Who can benefit:

Companies that are qualified as micro, small or medium-sized enterprises and which carry out, directly and primarily, an economic activity of an agricultural, commercial, industrial or service nature in inland territories.

More information here.

Seed Program

This scheme aims to support the investment of IRS taxpayers in the capital of innovative micro or small enterprises ("Startups").


– Deduction of an amount of 25% of the investment considered eligible that does not exceed € 100,000.00 up to the limit of 40% of the income subject to IRS; amounts that exceed this limit can be deducted under the same conditions in the two subsequent taxation periods;

– Exclusion of total or partial taxation of capital gains resulting from the disposal of shares that correspond to eligible investments, held for at least 48 months, in the case of reinvestment in the same type of investments.

Who can benefit:

Individuals who make eligible investments outside the scope of activities that generate business and professional income.

More information here.

Fiscal Regime for the Non-Habitual Resident

The citizen registered as a Non-Habitual Resident benefits from a special regime of income taxation.


– Right to be taxed as Non-Habitual Resident in the period of 10 consecutive years as of the year, inclusive, of his / her registration as resident in Portuguese territory;

– Taxation at the special rate of 20% in relation to income earned in activities of high added value, with a scientific, artistic or technical character;

– Exemption from taxation in Portugal in respect of income from dependent or independent work obtained abroad;

– Exemption from taxation in Portugal in respect of pension income obtained through another country.

Who can benefit:

Single persons who fulfill the following conditions:

– Become fiscally resident in Portuguese territory in the year in which they intend to start taxation by this regime;

– Have not been considered residents in Portuguese territory in any of the previous five years;

– Apply through the electronic financial portal by March 31 inclusive of the year following that in which they become residents in Portuguese territory.

How to get:

– To register as a resident in Portuguese territory at any Finance Service or Citizen’s Shop;

– By March 31 of the year following that in which he became a resident of Portugal, formalize the application for registration as Non-Habitual Resident at www.portaldasfinanas.gov.pt or at any Finance Service or Citizen’s Store.

Exemption and reduction of payment of Social Security contributions

Employers may benefit from exemption from payment of social security contributions or reduction of the tax rate.

Who can benefit:


The employers, in the part that respects them, if they celebrate a permanent employment contract with:

– Very long-term unemployed;

– Workers already bound by a fixed-term contract; – Open prisoners.


Employers, in the part that respects them, in case they hire:

– Young people looking for 1st job and long term unemployed;

– Workers already bound by a fixed-term contract; – Open prisoners.


The employer must:

– Be regularly constituted and duly registered;

– To have the contributory and tax situation regularized before the Social Security and the Tax and Customs Authority;

– Not to be late in paying the salaries;

– Enter into full-time or part-time employment contract with the worker;

– Have at its service, in the month of application, a total number of workers above the average of the workers registered in the immediately previous 12 months.

How to apply:

Through the Social Security Direct service, within 10 days from the date of commencement of the employment contract.

More information here.