Edition 1492
15 September 2018
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UK tourist slump continues

by Brendan de Beer, in News · 16-08-2018 10:13:00 · 3 Comments

Concerns have been raised in recent weeks that the growth in tourism figures seen the past few years has bottomed out. This sentiment was this week underlined by news that the number of nights spent by non-resident tourists had fallen among most European travellers, especially among Britons, Germans and French nationals.

UK tourist slump continues

New figures out this week show the number of nights spent by British and German tourists dropped by double digits in June, which is traditionally the start of the summer season and an indication of the trend that will be followed in ensuing months.
Overall, non-resident tourism fell by 5.1 percent, new figures by the National Statistics Institute (INE) revealed this week.
This comes after there had been a general mood of euphoria in 2017 as figures climbed by over ten percent, setting new records.
But a year later, not only have there been slumps in tourists from the UK and Germany, but also from other major feeder markets such as the Netherlands, Ireland, Poland, Italy and Sweden.
There was also a reduction in the overall number of visitors, though this was less pronounced, with British tourists down seven percent, and Germans shrinking by nine percent.
The general trend arising in the UK source market, the most important to Portugal as Britons account for just under one in four visitors, has been of concern since last year.
Successive falls in numbers have been reported since October 2017.
The main reasons for this have been a revival in competition from destinations such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, the euro strengthening against the pound, and a loss of some air connections resulting from events such as the bankruptcy of Monarch Airlines.
This was was also the first time that Portugal registered a decrease in hotel guests and visitors since June 2010.
On a positive front, the number of Americans rose on last year, but the increase was not enough to recover overall losses in numbers.
Portuguese tourists were also to thank for a less significant drop in figures, with their numbers increasing by just below four percent on 2017.
The Portuguese Government, which in July had already expressed concern over the perceived drop in tourists, especially from Britain, this week played down these latest figures.
The Tourism Secretary told newspaper Público that while numbers at hotels were down, the number of passengers disembarking at Portuguese airports climbed 6.4 percent in June when compared with 12 months earlier.
Other reasons forwarded for numbers shrinking were the World Cup, and warmer than usual weather in northern Europe, which could have “resulted in potential visitors postponing their intended trips to Portugal”.
May had also seen a drop in tourists, but only by 0.4 percent, while April recorded a reduction of 7.2 percent, but was explained as a result of the timing of the Easter holidays.
Despite these concerns, overall revenue from tourism rose 7.5 percent year-on-year, totalling €376.7 million in June.

Comments

A reduction in numbers is not a slump. Portugal is moving up market. Less bargain hunters and more quality tourism with a higher spend.This probably explains the reduction in numbers from impoverished Brexit Britain and the increase from the increasingly wealthy continental EU and Ireland.
by Dirk Scott from Lisbon on 18-08-2018 07:49:00
I think there is also another reason behind this trend. Portugal has got steadily more costly for eating out and golf. Why would I pay the exorbitant green fees of Portugal when I can play equally good courses in Ireland for € 15 almost every day of the week. Portugal needs to cop on.
by Jim Ward from Other on 17-08-2018 06:13:00
Not surprised given the impending Brit. self-amputation from Europe next year. BUT a lot of French tourists use mobile homes to stay for months on end- so they won't be countered in these figures ???
Can't say about the German tourists.
by Two.Sugars.in.my.tea from Algarve on 17-08-2018 11:39:00

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Edition 1492
15 September 2018
Edition: 1492

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

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