Sintra Unesco site visitors

More than 80% of visitors to the Sintra’s Unesco heritage sites of Palácio da Pena, Castelo dos Mouros and Monserrate Park are foreigners, according to a study presented on Monday by the Parques de Sintra Monte da Lua Company.

According to the study, of the 1.9 million people who chose Sintra as their tourist destination last year, around one million visited the parks and palaces that are classified as Unesco world heritage sites.

Algarve Car Hire Sintra LisboaOf these, around 86% were foreigners, the majority of whom were from Spain, and only 13.9% of whom were Portuguese. After the Spanish, central Europeans, northern and eastern Europeans, Asians, Americans and Brazilians were those who sought out the capital of romanticism.

The study concludes that culture and nature are the main reasons for people to visit, which demonstrates “that the majority of those interviewed do not know of an equivalent place, which reflects Sintra’s unique cultural landscape.”

More than 50% of visitors choose to stay in accommodation within Lisbon council, with the average stay being more than seven nights and the average age of visitors to the parks being educated adults between 31 and 45.

António Lamas, Administrator for the Parques de Sintra Monte da Lua Company, considers that the results show “tourism is growing in the area” and the focus on making the services international has been a success.

“Tourism has grown a lot due to the monuments managed by Parques de Sintra and continues to do sothis year, with a growth that is greater than in 2010. The majority of visitors are foreign and it shows that we are a company that exports services, which is very important nowadays,” he told Lusa News Agency.

António Lamas highlights the characteristics of the visitors as “people who have a high level of education and receive knowledge well,” whose level of satisfaction “is very high” and who show a willingness “to return, and many will recommend a visit to Sintra.”

The study, entitled “characterisation of the profile of visitors to Parque de Sintra” was carried out by CESTUR – The Centre of Studies for Estoril’s Hotel and Tourism School.


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