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Decree Law No. 39/2008

Publication: Republic Diary No. 48/2008, Series I of 2008-03-07
  • Issuer:
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 39/2008
  • Pages: 1440 - 1456

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This Decree-Law lays down the rules for the installation, operation and running of tourist establishments.

Tourist establishments are considered to be establishments that provide paid accommodation services and have a range of facilities, equipment and services.

For example:

    • Hotels;
    • Holiday villages;
    • Tourist apartments;
    • Resorts;
    • Camping and caravan sites;
    • Rural and housing tourism.
What is going to change?

The rules on the installation, operation and running of tourism undertakings will be simpler.

The process for installation of tourist developments will be faster.

A specific procedure is provided regarding information requests on the possibility of starting a tourist resort on rustic soil, that is to say, on land outside the localities.

The reply must be given, as a rule, within 60 days.

It will be faster to start using a building or apartment for tourism (if only minor works are necessary and if the property is not classified as being of public interest).

The Portuguese tourism office (Turismo de Portugal) may have to analyse the construction project at the request of the person in charge of the tourism establishment. It only has to participate in the classification of the undertaking.

Tourist establishments must be classified with stars.

The classification is no longer focused on physical requirements of the facilities, as hitherto, but should also reflect the quality of services provided.

National Tourism Registration Number required for disclosure

When accommodation is advertised on websites or mobile booking applications, the National Tourism Registration Number must always be indicated.

It is possible to open a tourism establishment before receiving authorisation where, after the works are completed and the authorisation for opening is requested, the latter is not issued within the deadline. If the undertaking is not in accordance with the approved project, penalties may be imposed.

What advantages does it bring?

This decree-law facilitates the opening of new tourist developments and contributes towards greater market security and better consumer confidence.

When does it enter into force?

This Decree Law entered into force on 6 April 2008.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.