Portugal enjoys bumper Easter with massive tourist influx
High inflation and dearer hotel rooms and plane tickets don’t seem to be putting off overseas tourists which began flooding into Portugal on Thursday and Friday to enjoy an Easter break with fine weather forecast for most of the country.
Hotels are full in almost all parts of Portugal with bookings already above those recorded for Easter in 2019.
And despite the increase in the prices of hotel rooms and trips in general by around 20% on average, this Easter has already beaten numbers from 2022, and if forecasts for summer bookings are anything to go by, Portugal looks set to enjoy a bumper summer season as well, exceeding numbers seen in 2019 and 2022!
Hotels were particularly packed in Lisbon and Madeira, where occupation rates were 90%. The Algarve, where surprisingly take up has been lower and the recovery slower (80%), the near recessionary outlook in the UK does not see to be putting off Brits who poured into the region in their thousands despite low consumer confidence and empty supermarket shelves at home.
Even in Porto, not famous for its warm sea temperatures, the Easter city break saw hotel bookings at around 85% – higher than the Algarve, while city centre accommodation stood at 55% according to sources consulted by the on-line news source ECO.
“The Easter campaigns are proving a success and travellers have been looking for last-minute bookings in every destination” says the President of the Portuguese Association of Travel Agents and Tourism (APAVT), Pedro Costa Ferreira.
Also, Cristina Siza Vieira, Vice-President of the Portuguese Hotels Association (AHP) said: “Prices have been going up, in line not just with greater demand, but also reflecting the increases in production costs from energy, foodstuffs, and higher salaries”.
Nevertheless, “There has been no fall off in bookings” for Easter. On the contrary: “Demand continues to increase, in fact Portugal “even has more room for a growth in prices”, she said.
Ana Jacinto, the General Secretary of the hotels and restaurants association AHRESP said that even in regions which suffer a high degree of seasonality, where hotels and guest houses close in periods of low season “almost all of the hotels are nearly full”.
The tourism consultant Neoturis said that it was no surprise that the Portuguese and Spanish should look for hotels at this time of year nationally, but was surprised at the “constant flow of American tourists and to a lesser extent, Canadians” who were holidaying in Portugal.
“Bookings are clearly two-digits higher than last year”, said the President of APAVT, Pedro Costa Ferreira, adding: “The majority of hotels forecast that all quarters of 2023 will be better than 2019 and 2022.”