Tourism expects record year
Tourism revenues this summer are expected to hit a new record according to tourism, hotel and travel agent associations, partly on the back of an influx of tourists from the United States.
Negócios reports that demand for Portugal as a European destination has continued to increase and has been reflected not only in the number of visitors but also in revenues.
After a record year in revenues in 2022 (€22Bn), the sector is confident that this year the trend will remain the same or even exceed last year’s numbers with World Youth Day contributing to income. (Expected economic return of €350 million).
“Taking into account the success at Easter (+30% on 2022), the prospects for the summer are very optimistic with all the signs that we will achieve new records”, said Ana Jacinto, General-Secretary of AHRESP – Associação da Hotelaria, Restauração e Similares de Portugal (Portuguese Hotel and Restaurant Association).
The first four months of the year registered 19.4 million overnight stays, an increase of 30% on 2022 and 14.2% on 2019 which was a 40.2% increase on 2019 in terms of tourism accommodation revenues to over €1.3Bn according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).
Despite it being difficult to predict room take-up rates because of the trend in last minute bookings seen since the pandemic, Pedro Machado, President of the Central Portugal Tourism Office (Turismo Centro de Portugal) is confident about the summer. “From the establishments we’ve contracted, 25% have at least guaranteed booking at 85% for three months which is extremely positive at this period, especially in relation to August and September”, he said.
He aded that tourism in the region for the first four months of 2023 had grown 22% and “It’s safe to say that the results (this summer) will outstrip those of 2019 and that 2023 will be the best year ever for tourism in Central Portugal”.
The President of Turismo do Algarve Algarve Region Tourism Office, João Fernandes was equally optimistic. “I think this year we will equal the best year ever”, he said referring to 2019 when take-up rates were 83% in July and 92% in August that year.
According to AHRESP, of all the overseas issuer markets, the US has grown the most, registering a growth of 26.9% in overnight stays in 2022 on 2019, consolidating a positive trend that has been seen since 2014/2015. In the first four months of the year they represented one million overnight stays, +83.2% on 2022.
However, the Brazilian market, which like the US market had most grown to 2019, has not kept up with the trend since, being the market that has most shrank on 2019.
Big changes are not expected in Portugal’s main tourist markets: the UK, Germany, Spain, and France, while the Portuguese continue to represent one-third of all tourists in the summer.