Brexit Brits dominate Portugal’s tourism as Lisbon opens up ‘more seamless’ travel to UK

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Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, Brexit Britain became a third country which required its citizens to have their passports checked when entering the EU’s Schengen Area. However, tourists from the UK received a boost when Lisbon announced it would fast-track Brits through airport gates via e-passport lanes.

Speaking about the change, Turismo de Portugal CEO Luis Araujo said: “We are delighted to continue welcoming British tourists to Portugal and are pleased that the e-gates in the country’s main airports will provide increased accessibility for our valued British travellers, as we head into the busy summer period.”

He added: “We’re delighted to have made travel to Portugal even more seamless for those able to make the most of the new e-gates.”

The new e-gates will initially be made available in the Portuguese capital, Faro, Porto and Funchal.

However, the announcement comes after one family lost £3,000 when a mother was denied entry to Portugal due to a post-Brexit passport rule.

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Many EU countries in the Schengen Area, including Portugal, have insisted that passports must be no more than 10 years old, which includes the three-month expiry buffer.

This impacted Nina Gurd who arrived at Bournemouth Airport with her family, only to be told her passport was not valid for travel to Portugal.

Her passport was originally issued on May 29, 2012, meaning it would have been due to expire next month.

However, when she renewed it early, another nine months were added, giving it a new expiry date of February 28, 2023.

But now Brits appear to be boosting Portugal’s tourism sector even more.

According to Facts4EU, holidaymakers from the UK bought almost 9.4 million nights of accommodation in 2019, which was the last year Brits could jet off to Portugal to bask in the sun before Covid-induced travel restrictions were introduced.

Despite being an EU member state, Germany failed to catch up with the UK as Brits accounted for nearly 60 percent more tourist nights than their German counterparts.

Even Portugal’s Iberian neighbours in Spain could not snatch Britain’s tourist crown as Spanish tourists made up just 5.3 million accommodation nights.

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Brazil, which has linguistic and historic links to Portugal, lags even further behind on just under 3 million.

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