Second home tourism in the Oeste Region, Portugal: Features and Impacts

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The growing omnipresence of second homes in Portugal and the inherent changes in land use have been discussion topics among policy‑ and opinion‑makers, but the complexity of this phenomenon has not yet become part of the territorial development research agendas. This gap is being filled by the research project “Second Home Expansion and Spatial Development Planning in Portugal”. This paper presents the findings of this project’s case‑study of the Oeste Region, a NUTS III in the area of influence of Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA) with a rapidly rising tourism industry, particularly residential. The majority of second home owners are LMA residents, followed by Portuguese emigrants and foreigners. These groups differ in frequency of use of second homes, given that LMA residents and emigrants are mostly economically active couples with children, while foreigners are predominately retirees. The former two groups are similar in terms of lower tendency to change second into first home, while this tendency is significantly higher among foreigners. The degree of expansion of second homes owned by LMA residents and foreigners is much higher than of emigrants. All three groups prefer individual renovated old houses in the countryside. This partly explains why local authorities emphasize positive impacts of second home expansion in the countryside of the Oeste Region. Furthermore, given the declining and aged agricultural population, the expansion of second homes is viewed as a positive externally‑driven demographic compensation. Keywords: second homes; territorial development; residential tourism.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)35‑55
JournalEuropean Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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