In the first three weeks of January, Portugal granted a total of 49 fast-track gold visas associated with investment in the region of €27 million, Foreign Minister Rui Machete said on Monday.
“2014 represents another very promising year,” said Machete who put the 2013 visa total at 470 bringing in some €300 million in investment either in property or in businesses.
The Foreign Minister was talking at the signing ceremony for a new tourism visa protocol making it easier for tourists from Russia, China, India, the United Arab Emirates and Colombia to visit Portugal.
The ceremony was also attended by the Economy Minister António Pires de Lima who highlighted how the protocol would redeploy technical and human resources from the national tourism institute into the services of what he termed the “economic diplomacy agenda.”
De Lima went onto state that while fully respecting all the immigration and border controls in effect for the Schengen Area, this protocol would “enable the arrival of dozens of thousands of tourists to Portugal.”
The Economy Minister pointed to how there were now some 83 million Chinese tourists annually and the biggest spenders of all by nationality with “4.5% of Chinese tourists travelling to Europe and where Spain already takes 10% of this market, some 400,000 tourists.”
The Chinese make up by far the biggest single source of demand for Portugal’s gold visas followed by citizens from Russia, Brazil, Angola and South Africa.
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