Portugal achieves new tourists numbers record – Brits lead the way
Portugal beat its all-time record of tourist numbers in 2019, attracting 27 million, up 7.3% on 2018.
The data was published by the country’s National Statistics Institute (INE) on Friday which revealed that in terms of revenues, an extra €4.28Bn flooded into the country as a result.
The total number of hotel and guest house visitors increased 7.3% to around €27 million, with the majority coming from overseas destinations.
However, despite leading in the number stakes (16.3 million overseas visitors), foreigners climbed just 7.1% compered to 7.5% national holidaymakers (10.7 million).
In terms of stay, both international and national guests spent less nights in tourist accommodation, the average being 2.59 nights while the Portuguese spent an average of 1.97 nights (-1.2%) and overseas visitors spent 2.99 nights (-3.6%).
When it comes to where to spend the night, hotels continue to lead with around 58 million beds (82.9% of the total), ahead of local accommodation with 10 million, while rural tourism accounted for 1.9 million beds.
In terms of growth, hostels stand out with the number of heads of pillows skyrocketing 23.7%.
The lion’s share of International tourists continues to come from the United Kingdom, a total of €9.38 million tourists, a 1.5% increase on 2018 and a 19.2% market share.
The British were followed by the Germans with 5.88 million and Spanish with 5.22 million according to INE.
In terms of growth, the US market was robust (29.2%) followed by Canada (27.6%) and Ireland (26%).
However, bookings for Madeira have fallen in succession. Last year, INE data showed that all regions in Portugal saw an increase in heads on beds with the exception of the archipelago which fell 3.7% to 7.5 million.
This performance has already been confirmed by various tour operators which put the blame on the collapse of various airlines as the main cause, leading to a loss of routes and consequent fall in tourist numbers.
In terms of regions, at the top of the table is Porto and the North Region (+9.7%), the Alentejo (+7.6%) and the Autonomous Region of the Azores (+7.5%) while Greater Lisbon increased by 5.2%.
In terms of sheer numbers, the Algarve concentrated the greatest number of occupied beds (20.9 million), in front of Lisbon (18.4 million) and the North (10.7 million).