Portugal loses €860 million in tourist revenues
A fifth of Portugal’s revenues from tourism have been completely lost with 70% of hotels and accommodation either closed or without guests.
This is according to the latest figures released by the Portuguese statistics institute (INE) which refer to the first three months of the pandemic (March to May) and which revealed that hotel and local accommodation bookings were “all but wiped out”.
In other words, 20% of all revenues for the sector — using 2019 as a reference — are irreplaceably lost.
And according to the INE for the period March to May 2020, the total value of revenues from guests (national and overseas) in the hotel and guest house sector, plummeted by around €116 million, 88% down on the same period in 2019 (€980 million).
In 2019, Portugal’s tourism accommodation sector netted around €4.3Bn, the highest financial turnover ever. This year has been the exact opposite with the lowest turnover since records began.
And the collapse in tourism activity from March to May only wasn’t worse because only half of March was affected by the economic shutdown caused by the Government’s State of Emergency.
Despite this, hotel revenues were growing at a rate of around 13% in February, but by March those revenues has fallen by 50% on the same month in 2019.
But according to the INE, worse was to come in April and May, when tourism practically ground to a halt, and with it, its revenues.
In April, hotel and guest house turnover fell 98% to just €5 million. The market virtually disappeared in May too, with a total fall in revenues of 97% to just €11 million.
All regions have suffered dreadfully over the past three months, with falls of 84% (Alentejo and Madeira) and 90% (Algarve and Azores).
In the North region, the fall was 88%, in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area the collapse in revenues from tourists was 89%.
The INE also emphasises that the number of guests and room bookings were at “record lows” in May 2020.
“The tourist accommodation sector registered 149,0000 guests and 307,000 hotel nights in May 2020, reflecting variations of -94.2% and -95.3% respectively for May (-97.7% and -97.4% in April).
The INE also reveals that: “In May around 70.4% of tourism accommodation establishments were closed or did not see any guest traffic”.
In April, this rate of closure or interruption in activity was at 85%. Regarding May, “Hotel nights (56.6% in total) fell by 96.8%,” “nights booked in local accommodation guest houses (36.4% of the total) fell by 87.7%, while rural tourism (7.1% of the total) shrank by 86.2% states the INE. “Nights booked in hostels registered a fall by 89.9%.