Home / Sustainability / Accommodation Environmental Performance in Portugal | 2023


June 03, 2024
Manuela Carvalho , Nuno Lima
Turismo de Portugal

Accommodation Environmental Performance in Portugal | 2023

sustainability best practices

Aiming to achieve the vision: ‘affirming tourism as a hub for economic, social and environmental development throughout the territory, positioning Portugal as one of the most competitive and sustainable tourist destinations in the world’, Turismo de Portugal has defined several objectives in the area of sustainability through its 2027 Strategy. To monitor this, an annual survey has been carried out concerning the 2023 environmental performance of Tourist Accomodation Establishments.  In addition to the usual questions, this edition also includes questions related to the Circular Economy and Waste Management.

Overall, the results show that  are increasing their efficiency and involving customers and employees more in sustainable practices, as well as in reporting any losses. This involvement is reflected, for example, in the year-on-year increase of 8.8 p.p. in the number of properties installing photovoltaic solar panels for energy production; the 7.5 p.p. increase in the number of properties providing guests with containers for selective collection (glass, paper, packaging and unsorted or bio-waste); and even the 2.6 p.p. increase in the number of properties inviting guests to report any water losses to staff.

In 2023, of the 1,180 units that submitted a response, 69% adopted efficient water use measures. Higher efficency is achieved in the practices: changing of sheets at the guest's request (95%) and the use of cisterns with differentiated loads (85.4%).

Nearly seven out of ten (68%) of the Tourist Resorts declared that they had good energy use practices, especially energy-saving light bulbs (97.4%) and customer-adjustable air conditioning (92.6%); and 69% adopted efficient waste management measures, particularly the separation of waste for recycling (95.6%) and the availability of refillable products (shampoo, shower gel, among others) in the rooms (76.7%).

In terms of disposable plastics, 65% of establishments will no longer provide this type of single-use material in 2023, with the emphasis on plastic protectors for clean sheets and towels, coasters and sanitary protection strips.

Concerning the certifications, 11% of the establishments reported being certified to some kind of standard, mainly quality management at international level and accessibility at national level.

In 2023, 79% of tourist accomodation establishments stated they had adopted the circular economy practices included in the questionnaire and 60 per cent said they had efficient waste management, with 95.3% of the  establishments monitoring inventories.

The regions of Madeira and the Azores recorded the best results in three areas: energy efficiency, waste management and waste management.