Well, don't forget the Dutch had Manhattan and sold it - and the Dutch had Indonesia, South Africa, Surinam, Sri Lanka and many other smaller sites. The Dutch had the monopoly on trade with Japan for 400 years in Nagasaki, after ties with the Portuguese were cut because the Portuguese were also trying to sell Catholicism. There are currently 5,5 islands left of the Dutch overseas territories, that's true.
Anyway back to topic, what I find strange is that LIS
-East Timor never managed to generate enough VFR traffic. I live in Lisbon for the moment, and I know many people that used to live in Macau and came back after Macau's handover. East Timor might be a different case as it's even more remote, and lost Portuguese influence earlier, but look at the following: if the Azores can generate so much VFR traffic to the US and Canada, then how come that Asian states cannot? Strange comparison maybe, but has anyone seen a Macau or East Timor restaurant in Lisbon? There are tons of Brazilian/Cape Verdian/Angolan restaurants, but nothing Portuguese-Colony-Asian.
Only speculating here, but my impression is that Portuguese colonies in Asia were quickly swallowed by local cultures (Indian/Chinese/Indonesian/Malaysian) and then soon forgotten by Portugal. The African colonies never much developed economically and have sizeable immigrant communities in Portugal, generating steady VFR traffic - and Portuguese go to beach resorts in Mocambique - not Angola though.
Now, Brasil - that became a success story. True, there is still lots of poverty there, but the country has a decent industry of its own, just look at Embraer. The same, I'm afraid, cannot be said about Portugal. In the year that 10 new countries joined the European Union, ICEP, the main Portuguese government body of international trade, put its main focus on Africa and Brasil. To me, this is a surrender. While I wish Portugal all the best and a comfortable position within the EU25, it seems that they don't want to compete, and turn to their colonial past. Where will this lead? Brasil is already much more powerful than Portugal economically, and I think that within a decade or two Brasil with actually use Portugal as its bridgehead into Europe. Which will probably be a good deal for both Brasil and Europe (and Portugal not to forget).
Regarding Portuguese tourism, it is still extremely traditional. I'd say that half of the Portuguese population hasn't left the country ever. This is partly due to economic circumstances, partly due to sheer lack of curiosity. If you look at a Portuguese tourist agency brochure, you'll see all the cliché destinations - Brasil, Tahiti, Acapulco and the Maldives. No adventurous holidays in Mongolia or Nepal - they're just not interested. So this may explain in part why there are no flights to Goa or Macau at the moment. I travelled Asia extensively, and of all tourist nationalities that I saw, there were (outside of Macau) no Portuguese at all.
I suppose I should start a non-av thread about the future of Portugal...
I scratch my head, therefore I am.