Revive Portugal – The Gateway to Eco-Conscious Tourism

revive portugal

How can we make a net positive impact on the future of this planet while making a profit? Although it may seem like an unattainable goal, there are an increasing number of ways to do this. The Revive Portugal program is one of them.

According to the World Green Building Council, the construction and building industry currently accounts for over 39% of the planet’s CO2 emissions. We are in the process of re-evaluating how we build through developing cutting-edge technologies and designing new strategies. However, there are other existing solutions all around us that must not be overlooked.

A 2018 study by the University of Sydney found that global tourism is also responsible for 8% of greenhouse emissions. This constitutes a significant amount when added to the operational emissions of hotels that make up a part of the above 39%. However, we agree that people should have the right to travel and enjoy a much-needed holiday. So what are some of the ways that we can offset these carbon emissions through gradual changes in the industry? 

The answer we are highlighting is quite simple. It has a wide-ranging positive impact while potentially generating high returns on your investment. Through government programs such as Portugal’s Revive, a private project can receive an incentive of up to 7.5 million Euros to restore listed historical buildings for tourism purposes. This type of incentive is designed to redefine our ability to preserve cultural assets by taking another look at how and what we recycle.

Why Should the Luxury Hospitality Sector Invest in Renovation?

Recycling is not limited to the multi-colored trash bins that sit on your street. It is employed across several sectors that operate at different scales. All of these have a positive impact on the environment. To get better, we must look at the programs that are thinking bigger. When recycling is applied to a building, the phrase that we use is Adaptive Reuse. This means that existing buildings can be restored for a new function. In the case of Revive, the buildings are historical, and that function is tourism. 

Any country that has a historical architectural context requires an alternative solution when it comes to tourism development. Portuguese cultural assets are celebrated, attracting tourists from around the world. Through the Revive program, the hospitality industry has the opportunity and incentive to change the way that visitors interact with these assets while engaging in regenerative travel. Furthermore, historical buildings are worth the investment for a long list of reasons. The primary ones being:


  • Unlike the architecture of the past 70 years, older buildings were built to last. Heavy stone and thick walls constitute the building’s envelope. Features like this can be used to employ passive heating and cooling strategies. 
  • The demolition and removal of these stone elements can be expensive, also producing increased CO2 emissions. Not to mention, the lost cultural and financial value of a historical monument. 
  • Working with what is already in place reduces the embodied energy as a high percentage of the material is already on site. 


  • A project like this is authentic and impossible to replicate, reducing your competition within the industry.
  • Hotels within historical buildings are a destination in and of themselves.
  • Preserving and re-envisioning historical monuments is paramount to maintaining cultural significance. These buildings are unique, full of character, and provide a place for guests to escape into a luxurious, one-of-a-kind experience.


  • Renovation projects require more specialists, craftsmen, tradesmen, contractors, boosting the economic growth cycle.
  • European countries such as Portugal provide various incentives to help businesses that are working to renovate historical buildings.

Thanks to Portugal’s Revive program, which has accrued a global budget of 150 million Euros, it is now possible for your company to directly engage in the rehabilitation and preservation of historical buildings in Portugal.

How to Participate in Portugal’s Responsible Tourism Industry?

The popular definition of green buildings is a modern structure clad in Solar Panels, Sensors, Teflon Cushions, and the list goes on. These high-tech solutions are what contemporary science can produce through costly research and development. However, according to Carl Elefante (former president of the American Institute of Architects), there is another definition: “The greenest building is one that is already built.” This statement could not be more true considering the numerous environmental factors that architects and engineers must consider during the design, development, and implementation of a project. 

Coupled with the benefits of revitalizing cultural assets, it is important to consider the value of multiple routes to sustainable tourism investment. To this end, the Portuguese Government, through the Ministries of Economy, Culture, and Finance with the Tourism Authority have created the Revive program. 
As we mentioned above, the Revive program focuses on incentivising private investment in the Portuguese tourism sector. With a global budget of 150 million euros, a selected project can receive up to 7.5 million Euros in support of renovating one of the listed cultural buildings for tourism purposes. Beyond the financial incentives, these historical buildings have the potential to provide the unique characteristics to attract a wide range of visitors for an unforgettable holiday experience.

In Conclusion

It is no secret that eco-conscious design is expensive. As a result, the environment is not the principal consideration in any business, even though many people behind those businesses would like to see that change. The fact that sustainability and historical renovation in the field of architecture is often compromised by economic components is becoming progressively incorrect. This is partially a result of inventive thinking and new technologies. However, this change owes a great deal to tenacious private and governmental organisations such as Revive, that understand the necessity for financial incentives to actualise these goals.

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