LISBON ¡ª Portugal will soon be opening a new flight connecting Chinese cities, including the capital city of Beijing, to Lisbon, as the country is witnessing a surge of Chinese tourists, local newspaper Diario de Noticias reported on Monday.
The report says the Portuguese government and Tourism of Portugal is focusing its efforts on China and will soon be opening the flight connecting eastern Chinese city Hangzhou and capital Beijing to Lisbon four times per week.
The flight, taking off in July, was created by HNA Group, a Fortune Global 500 company headquartered in Haikou, Hainan, China, which is also Portugal airline TAP's stakeholder.
Citing figures from Portugal's tourism department, the report says the number of Chinese tourists visiting Portugal in 2016 was 19.1 percent higher than the previous year. And in the past three years, the number duplicated to over 180,000 at the end of last year.
Moreover, Chinese tourists spent around 72 million euros ($76.68 million) in Portugal last year, says the report.
Chinese tourists spend more money than travellers from any other country, according to data released this week by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).