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Economic crisis and the image of Portugal as a tourist destination: the restaurants’ perspective

José Manuel Esteves (Portuguese Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHRESP), Lisbon, Portugal)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 10 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the effects of the international financial crisis on the food and beverage sector in Portugal, and the impact of a steep increase in the tax burden on this sector’s activity, together with the wider effects on the economy, enterprises and tourism in Portugal.


The paper uses information drawn from official national information sources, together with other empirical data.


The international financial crisis has caused severe damage to the food and beverage sector in Portugal. Since 2008, it has recorded successive reductions in key indicators: number of enterprises, employed persons and turnover. Besides this effect, the sharp rise in the tax burden has caused serious damage to the sector, leading to the closure of thousands of businesses, and the loss of thousands of jobs. The conjugation of these two factors, the economic and financial crisis and the increase in taxes caused serious disruption in the operation of businesses and the market as a whole.

Practical implications

It is hoped that this analysis (among others) will lead to a reduction in the tax burden on the food and beverage sector of the tourism industry. It is argued that this is an impediment to progress.


This article concludes that the current tax burden is undermining one of the main sectors of the Portuguese economy, which is vital to the country’s recovery. If it remains, there will be serious consequences for the image of Portugal, in terms of its tourism offer, its gastronomy and the excellence of service that is provided.



Esteves, J.M. (2014), "Economic crisis and the image of Portugal as a tourist destination: the restaurants’ perspective", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 6 No. 5, pp. 480-484.



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