In Portugal, Influx of Infrastructure Is Ahead

A massive amount of new infrastructure is afoot for Portugal, with 57 travel and tourism projects in the pipeline between now and 2011, worth an estimated investment of $8.7 billion. The areas receiving the most investment include Porto, Lisbon, Madeira, and the Azores.

Lisbon, the capital of Europe's westernmost country, is getting 20 new hotels, but the biggest project out of the new infrastructure is a project by Sonae on the Troia peninsula, just south of the city. Sonae is building a 300-room luxury hotel and an ecological resort, a marina, an aquatic theme park, and a horseback riding center.

In the Azores, the Golf Islands project on the island of Sao Miguel will usher in the area's first "five-star" hotel, which will serve Verde Golf Resorts' two Troon Golf-managed 18-hole courses. The Azores are a group of Atlantic Ocean islands about 1,000 miles off Portugal's coast. They are about a four-hour flight from Boston.

Estoril, a coastal locale west of Lisbon, is pushing to establish itself as a major destination. Five luxury hotels are slated to open there, adding 1,150 guest beds to its inventory, which will reach 9,000 total beds.

In the north, Porto and three other regions are being infused with $1.4 billion in investments within the next five years. The northern region has many UNESCO World Heritage attractions, including the historic section of Porto, the rock paintings at Foz Coa, and Alto Douro, where port wine was born.

Originally published July 7, 2008