Portugal's central region last year for the first time saw more than 5 million overnight stays in hotels, rural guesthouses and other forms of tourist accommodation, according to figures released on Tuesday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
The president of the regional tourist board, Pedro Machado, welcomed the confirmation of what he said had been an exceptional year.
"This is a result that reflects the good performance of the region, which is reaching levels never recorded before and, in particular, the significant growth in the external market, which increased 14.07%," Machado said, in a reference to a surge in the numbers of foreign tourists.
But he also stressed "the consistent and continued increase in the internal market", which posted an increase of 11.8% that was key to the region exceeding the 5-million mark.
The latest INE figures are not a total surprise, Machado said, given that information already available showed "a strong rise" in tourist numbers and revenue over the summer.
The Centro tourism region includes 100 municipalities and is, according to regional officials, the largest and most diverse in the country.