Ensuring tourism contributes to the conservation of our site

As Porto has grown as a tourist destination, so too have threats to building neglect, over-occupancy, waste management, and the decline of residents living in and using the World Heritage Site.

To make Porto a sustainable and resilient city able to cater for residents and tourists, the city needed to improve the maintenance of public space, signage, and the availability of leisure facilities and residential housing. To achieve this, the Municipality of Porto introduced a Tourist Tax in 2018.

Porto world heritage site

The Tourist Tax has financed a number of activities, including the cleanliness of the city, promotion of the local economy, maintenance of the public realm, and cultural and leisure activities.

Furthermore, the spotlight on overtourism has encouraged the municipality to commission a study into the impact on local accommodation, verifying that the greatest pressures were exerted in the downtown and historic centre of Porto.

Porto world heritage site
© Filipa Brito

As a result, the Municipality developed regulations for local accommodation to prevent overcrowding. Together with Porto Vivo, SRU – the Society for the Rehabilitation of central Porto – they have also been renovating buildings in order to create affordable housing for local families and to encourage people to live in the Historic Centre.

Porto world heritage site
© Filipa Brito

For further information about Porto, please visit our partners Week of World Heritage site:

World Heritage Site fact file

Porto, Portugal

The city of Porto, built on the hillside overlooking the mouth of the Douro River, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history.

Its continuous growth, linked to the sea (the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port), can be seen in the many and varied monuments, from the cathedral with its Romanesque choir, to the neoclassical Stock Exchange and the typically Portuguese Manueline-style Church of Santa Clara.

Porto world heritage site
© Filipa Brito

Porto land occupation

These data maps have been produced by A’Urba for Bordeaux Metropole. Within the AtlaS.WH partnership, Bordeaux was responsible for providing management tools to illustrate key land use data comparable between the five partner cities.

Porto city datamap