President of Tourism of Portugal, Joao Cotrim de Figueiredo, has said that amid the country’s recession, tourism has been the sector that has most contributed to Portugal’s recovery, with new records being set in 2014 and positive indicators that the trend will continue through 2015.

According to figures released by the Bank of Portugal, over 16 million tourists spent €10.4bn in 2014, up 12.4% on the previous year.

Cotrim de Figueiredo also said that in January this year, there were 788,000 visitors enjoying 2 million overnight stays in Portugal, up 12.8% and 13.4% respectively compared with January 2014. Revenues also rose substantially, up 18.1% to €91million for the month.

The surge in tourism, combined with export growth, have led to Portugal’s economy coming back on track, with the Portuguese government expecting GDP to grow 1.6% in 2015.