Looking for sunny and safe holidays, tourists turn to Portugal

As some common holidays destinations like France and Turkey deal with the threat of terrorism, the number of tourists in Portugal increases. While this country remains a good choice regarding safety, the government has also worked on improving security measures.

Vista da ponto 25 de abril a partir de um terraço com uma mesa decorada com flores e com um copo de vinho.

Bloomberg points out that Portugal, along with its neighboring country Spain, is already registering a growth in the number of tourists who are seeking sunny destinations. It comes in the aftermath of multiple terrorist attacks in France and the failed coup d’etat in Turkey, a nation now facing internal conflicts in addition to the already existing terrorism threat.

Tourism represents about 10% of Portugal GDP. In 2015, hotels registered over 16 million guests and 70% of those were foreign. The number of British and German visitors increased the most. Algarve, Lisbon and Madeira were the most sought-after regions.

Investment in the future

Bloomberg quotes the Portuguese minister of Economy, Miguel Macedo Cabral, who says that the country is working to promote different segments to attract more tourists, not only during summer, but year-round. The government is also looking to expand tourism to other places in the country.

Portugal ranks 5th in the 2016 Global Peace Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace, climbing 6 positions compared to the previous year. Yet, in the light of the terrorism events in Europe, the government has also invested in improving measures in airports and common tourist destinations.

However, this is not the only index where Portugal gets an honorable place. It is the 12th out of 207 countries in the KOF Index of Globalization for 2016. The Portuguese health care system ranked 12th in the world by the World Health Organization. In fact, Portugal has some of the highest rates when it comes to available hospital beds and number of physicians. You can learn more about Portugal and the Portuguese health care by visiting our site.

 

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Tourists from the United States are traveling to Portugal as never before

Portugal has seen a great increase in American tourists in 2015 and the numbers continue to rise in 2016.

Travel Pulse magazine highlights that Americans are among the top nationalities that most recently visited the country. That is why the Portuguese Tourism board set the promotion of Portugal in the United States as a priority. The Portuguese Tourism Board believes that the satisfaction that American visitors get from visiting Portugal is the greatest drive of new tourists, since those who enjoyed their time will tell family and friends to plan a trip too. Also the value for money and the proximity to North America are likely to drive the interest of tourists.

Portugal’s capital Lisbon, offers world-class luxury hotels at affordable prices when compared to other European capitals and flights from New York City to Lisbon take around 7 hours or less. Travel Pulse adds:

One sign of the country’s soaring popularity is the fact that it’s nearly impossible to narrow down five must-see locales within this small country. The Azores are a must, Porto can’t be missed as the birthplace of port wine, the Algarve is mesmerizing and Lisbon is the country’s cultural hub – but there’s so much more.

The increase in American tourists in Portugal can also be explained by an increase in overall tourism in the country. In 2015 a record number of foreign tourists stayed in Portuguese hotel, more than 10 million visitors came to the country, according to Portuguese National Statistics Institute. The fact that Portugal is a safe destination right now is also making the number of tourists to rise and 2016 is already expected to break new records.

Read the full Travel Pulse article here.

 

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10 facts about diabetes

April 7 is the World Health Day. Every year the World Health Organization chooses a health problem that concerns millions and millions of people around the world and raises awareness to that problem.

This year, the World Health Day is dedicated to Diabetes, a disease that affects 422 million people, according to the World Health Organization. In order to join the conversation about diabetes we will highlight 10 facts about the disease:

  1. 422 million is the estimated number of people worldwide who suffer from the disease
  2. It is one of the leading causes of death
  3. There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 (caused by lack of insulin production) and type 2 (caused by the ineffective use of insulin)
  4. The third type of diabetes is related to pregnancy, the gestational diabetes
  5. The incidence of type 2 diabetes is much greater than the others
  6. When diabetes is detected and well-managed, people can live a long and healthy life with the disease
  7. Early detection and diagnosis is crucial for patients to live a long life
  8. The majority of deaths related to diabetes occur in low and middle-income countries
  9. Diabetes can cause blindness, amputation and kidney failure
  10. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle increases the chances to avoid being affected by diseases such as diabetes type 2 that are caused by sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition. Eat well and be physically active are two of the most important tips for those who want to live longer.

Read the full article on the World Health Organization’s website, here.

 

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Portugal in the top 10 best countries to retire abroad

Once again, Portugal is in the news as one of the best places to retire abroad.

During the first days of 2016 were revealed two important rankings regarding the best places to retire abroad: one from Live and Invest Overseas and another from International Living. Both rankings highlight Portugal as great place to retire abroad, as they did for the past few years.

Live and Invest Overseas, considered the Portuguese region of the Algarve as the number one region in the world to retire abroad.

This distinction is awarded to the Algarve for the 3rd year in a row. The Algarve, in the south of Portugal is known for its white sand beaches, low cost of living and large expat English-speaking communities. The Algarve is considered a paradise in Europe where the sun shines all year round with mild temperatures.

International Living put Portugal in the 10th place this year. The country drops one place from last year, but still makes the top 10. Once again categories where Portugal received high scores were Infrastructures, Healthy Lifestyle (this category was added this year), Climate and Cost of Living.

Over the last few years Portugal became a popular destination for foreign retirees. Helped by tax benefits programs – the Non-Habitual Regime for European citizens and the Golden Visa for other nationalities – moving to Portugal was never so attractive to foreign citizens from around the world.

For those considering retiring in Portugal and concerned about their health, Medical Port developed the For Health Card. This card offers discounts in consultations and medical procedures even those that aren’t normally covered by health insurance. For Health cardholders that also have health insurance can benefit from using both when recurring to health services.

 

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AFAR magazine names Portugal the most popular non-U.S. destination

According to AFAR travel magazine, Portugal was the most visited non-US location in 2015 and is the 5th must go destination for 2016.

AFAR analysed the most searched terms and cities for trip planning in 2015 by their website visitors and compiled the list of the most visited places. Portugal is number 2, only followed by the American city of New Orleans.

NY Daily News magazine published AFAR’s list and here is their opinion about Portugal: “The major draw of the country is the beautiful Algarve’s beaches featuring bright blue-green waters and interesting rock formations. The hilly capital of Lisbon is known for its café culture and bars and restaurants. Bacalhau (white cod), Pasteis de Belem (custard cups) and Caldo Verde soup are mainstays in Portuguese dining and a must-eat if visiting the country.

AFAR recently released their January/February 2016 issue which contains the “The Top 10 Destinations on Our 2016 Travel List” and Portugal is number 5, and these are the reasons why: “Portugal is heating up as a cultural hub. Foodies are flocking to the capital city of Lisbon, which is radiating with exciting new culinary experiences. In addition, the city is getting a swanky new port hub to support the building river cruise traffic. Porto has quickly emerged as a top art scene and the central coast 200-mile stretch between the two cities is becoming loved by beachcombers. Locals and newcomers alike are breathing new life into Portugal’s smaller villages. With these experiences, Portugal truly has something for everyone.

All these reasons make Portugal the most popular non-U.S. destination of 2015 and probably 2016.

Read the full articles here: NY Daily News  and AFAR.

 

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Portuguese doctor is the most influential pathologist in the world

Pathologist Manuel Sobrinho Simões

“The Pathologist” magazine asked pathologists all over the world who were the most influential and powerful pathologist professionals. In a list containing 100 medical professionals, Manuel Sobrinho Simões was considered number one.

Pathologist Manuel Sobrinho Simões
Pathologist Manuel Sobrinho Simões

Manuel Sobrinho Simões has been a pathologist for over 40 years and he is the founder and director of IPATIMUP, the leading Portuguese institute of research and diagnosis known for pathologist training and general public education on scientific subjects. His work on the diagnosis of thyroid cancer is highly regarded among his peers internationally. He has won several prizes and awards both nationally and internationally throughout his career, among them is the Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for outstanding service in the interests of Norway. Simões is the author of several publications like peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters and books. He held leadership positions in professional organizations like the European Society of Pathology and the European School of Pathology.

The magazine enquiry was: “Who are the most influential laboratory medicine professionals?” and the answer Manuel Sobrinho Simões was the most common. Nominators said for example that Simões “(…) has contributed more than anybody else to the visibility of pathology in Europe.” and “His contributions to the clinical diagnosis of thyroid cancer have been outstanding: hospital pathologists worldwide follow his rules in their day-to-day routines.”

The pathologist said to a Portuguese newspaper that he was surprised but very happy with the distinction. He believes that his nomination is the result of the training programs he held for international young pathologists from all over the world in the past few decades.

Read more about the “100 pathologist power list of 2015here.

 

 

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Portugal joined the M8 Alliance, world’s best group of academic health centers

Known as the G8 for health, the M8 is an alliance with 18 members of 14 different countries with the mission to improve health at a global scale. Portugal was accepted as a member of the Alliance with unanimity. Members are “committed to improving global health and working with political and economic decision-makers to develop science-based solutions to health challenges worldwide”.

Considered as a very restrict group of countries and healthcare institutions, M8 Alliance gathers Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies in a collaborative network that excel in research. The fact that Portugal was accepted as a member of M8 is a recognition that Portuguese healthcare facilities, investigators and researchers are among the best in the world and they can help shape the future of world’s health.

Portuguese health minister stated that Portugal is now part of a forum that thinks world health strategically. And that the fact Portugal was accepted with favorable votes from all members of the Alliance means international recognition of the Portuguese healthcare and research from very prestigious institutions.

Every year M8 organizes the World Health Summit, which is an annual forum about health to promote the dialogue between countries and to discuss health issues at a global scale.

Read more about M8 Alliance here.

 

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Portugal in the top 5 countries with best quality of life

Portugal is ranked as the 5th country in the world with the best quality of life.

Internationally recognized expat website, Internations recently announced the 2015 quality of life index ranking.

The Index includes 64 countries, ranked according to different factors such as leisure, personal happiness, travel and transport, as well as health, safety, and well-being. This year, “affordable healthcare”, “quality of environment” was added as new questions and “political stability” and “peacefulness” was considered individually to reflect new thoughts and feelings.

Portugal jumped 8 places from last year’s ranking where got the 13th place. In 2015, Portugal is the 5th country with the best quality of life index leaving behind countries like Spain, Japan, Germany and many other European countries.

Besides the overall rank, there are four sub-categories, which are leisure options, personal happiness, travel & transport, and health, safety & well-being. Portugal ranked number 3 in the health, safety & well-being subcategory and number 7 in personal happiness.

The first 5 countries are:

  1. Singapore
  2. Ecuador
  3. Austria
  4. Switzerland
  5. Portugal

Below is the full list of the 64 countries analyzed:

 

Quality of Life Index 2015

The 2015 Quality of Life Index confirms that Portugal is one of the best options for expats to live, whether to work or to retire. The country enjoys mild temperatures all year-round, above the average and affordable healthcare and it is an overall safe country to live in and to travel to.

 

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TripAdvisor says the best aquarium in the World is in Portugal

Lisbon’s Aquarium (Oceanário de Lisboa) was recently voted the best in the world according to TripAdvisor users. The 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award winners by TripAdvisor were revealed recently.

The Lisbon Aquarium has 11579 reviews from which 10745 either classified it as “Excellent” or “Very good”. These reviews made Lisbon Aquarium to the first spot in the best aquariums list in the world. Last year, Lisbon Aquarium got the second place, and this year, changed places with Georgia Aquarium in the United States. The variety of marine species (animals and plants) and the education on nature and water conservation and preservation are the strong points of the Lisbon Aquarium. It is also considered the number 1 attraction to see while in Lisbon and should be visited at least half a day, according to the reviews of previous visitors.

Lisbon Aquarium, Portugal
Lisbon Aquarium, Portugal, photo courtesy Oceanario de Lisboa

Travel website “Travel Pulse” shared the news about the Lisbon Aquarium and describes it: “While the Oceanário de Lisboa opened fairly recently, in 1998, the building has built up quite a varied number of sea creature species, and the aquarium has a focus on teaching people about the animals and how to protect them.” 

ABC News, wrote “Put these on your bucket list: World’s top zoos, aquariums and more” after the winners were announced by TripAdvisor.

 

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The Algarve region, in Portugal, named the best place to retire abroad

For the second year in a row, the Algarve is considered the best place in the world to retire abroad.

Last year, the publication Live and Invest Overseas awarded the Algarve with the first place to retire abroad, and this year the publication decided that the best place to retire continues to be in Portugal. In the Algarve, it is possible to live well with $1, 410 a month.

It’s not the cheapest destination, but it’s the destination that offers a better balance between cost and quality of living.

According to Live and Invest Overseas “This region on the coast of Portugal has held the top spot for two years in a row thanks to its low cost of living, affordable real estate and pleasant weather. The area was highlighted for having mild temperature year-round, with temperatures usually staying below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.”

The author of Live and Invest Overseas, Kathleen Peddicord, recently wrote an article on the Huffington Post on how to retire in Portugal, calling it a “sunny European paradise”. One of the strong points of retiring to the Algarve, according to the author is: “Unlike many sunny paradises, however, the Algarve is not a little island in the middle of no place in the sea. It is attached to the Old Continent and reachable by car from Lisbon and points farther north. You can also fly from the U.S. East Coast in short hops, as few as six hours to Lisbon from Boston, for example, where many flights originate thanks to the Portuguese diaspora. From there, a three-hour drive takes you to the south coast resorts.”

One of the advantages the author points is the quality of healthcare in Portugal: “One more driving advantage for this region is the standard of healthcare on offer, which is both modern and innovative and personalized and humane.”

Here is the list of the 10 best places to retire around the world:

  1. Algarve, Portugal
  2. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  3. Cayo, Belize
  4. Languedoc, France
  5. Abruzzo, Italy
  6. Medellin, Colombia
  7. Hua Hin, Thailand
  8. Chiang Mai, Thailand
  9. Cuenca, Ecuador
  10. El Valle, Panama

Since the raking was published, many journalists around the world have been talking about it and highlighting what Portugal has to offer to retired people.

CBS News, the Huffington Post, Forbes, the Washington Post are some of the newspapers who wrote articles about the Algarve as the best region in the world to retire.

Common reasons to why Portugal is a great place to retire are the cost of living, natural beauty, safety, and mild temperatures all year-round.

Medical Port offers top quality medical solutions for foreigners who retire in Portugal and whish to access medical care. Our solutions include access to consultations, exams and surgeries at internationally certified private healthcare facilities throughout the country with experienced medical staff and top notch technology.

 

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