Edition 1504
08 December 2018
Edition: 1504

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Staycations rescue Algarve tourism

by Carrie-Marie Bratley, in News · 20-09-2018 09:46:00 · 0 Comments

In comparison to July 2017, the Algarve had fewer tourists in July this year, and in terms of ‘bums in beds’ has been on a downwards trend for several months. However, a growing number of nationals who chose to stay-cate (holiday in their home country) this year went some way towards making up for a dwindling foreign market.

Staycations rescue Algarve tourism

SLatest available figures revealed by the Portuguese Hotel Association (AHP) show that hotels in the Algarve were not quite as full this July as last July, and occupancy rates have been on a slump for six months.
The AHP painted a less-than-rosy picture, saying: “In terms of occupancy rates, the Algarve has been receding since February. In July 2017, there was also a slight decrease compared to the same month of 2016”.
The average room occupancy rate in the Algarve this July was 84 percent, down 1.6 percent on the same month of 2017.
According to the AHP’s Tourism Monitors, a data collection tool for the national hotel industry carried out monthly by the Portuguese Hotel Association, nationally, in July Portugal’s hotels were four fifths full, with an average room occupancy rate of 80 percent.
Notwithstanding a noticeable drop in foreign visitors to the Algarve, both revenue and the number of national tourists to that region were up on last year’s figures.
The Algarve’s hotels generated total revenue in July 2018 of 186.7 million euros; 144.4 million of which came from room fees. This represents a year-on-year increase of 3.2 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, and is the most positive indicator for the region in terms of monthly information available on the tourist activity, released this week by the National Statistics Institute (INE), given that both overnight stays in the Algarve and the number of foreign tourists visiting the region are down.
Algarve hotels registered 542,000 guests and close to 2.7 million overnight stays in July, which is down 2.8 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, on 2017.
However, Portuguese tourists’ overnight stays were up by 5.9 percent this year, when compared to July last year, a shift the INE highlighted and has been widely hailed as having to some extent made up for a lack of foreign visitors.
And it seems national residents have been swapping holidays abroad for a holiday at home for a while now, as cumulatively, over the first seven months of the year, the number of overnight stays by so-called ‘staycationers’ grew by 6.6 percent on last year. This represents an extra 135,000 overnight stays for Portugal’s domestic tourism market.
But while the domestic market has been growing, overnight stays in the Algarve by non-residents have been receding, having fallen by 6.5 percent in July and 4.5 percent since the beginning of the year (down by 386,000 overnight stays).
This follows a general trend flagged by the INE for the entire country.
Since the beginning of 2018, the Algarve has accumulated total revenue of €569 million (up 4.6 percent), more than 10.4 million overnight stays (down 2.3 percent) and close to 2.4 million guests (down 0.3 percent).
The average length of a holiday in Portugal in July was 4.95 nights.
In related news, accommodation platform Airbnb registered almost 1.4 million guests who visited Portugal this summer. The Portuguese capital, Lisbon, the northern city of Porto and the western Algarve city of Lagos topped the ranking of most popular Airbnb destinations in Portugal.
The figures are 18 percent up on last summer, and, according to the platform, Portugal is still among the most popular destinations in Europe for travellers from all over the world.

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Edition 1504
08 December 2018
Edition: 1504

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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