Hotels in the Algarve are celebrating what has been confirmed as their “best year ever”, with more bookings and revenue registered than ever before.
The data refers to the first 10 months of this year, meaning that with two months still to go, 2016 has already trounced 2015.
According to Portugal’s national statistics institute (INE) hotels registered over 17 million bookings by the end of October, while 2015 did not exceed 16.6 million in the whole year.
Hotel revenue is also up to €863 million compared to last year’s €758 million, while the number of tourists has reached 3.8 million, up from 2015’s 3.6 million.
Algarve tourism boss Desidério Silva said the news comes as an “excellent Christmas present” in a region that is “setting new historic records year after year” and “establishing itself as the main tourism destination in Portugal”.
Meantime, another report by INE has highlighted the Algarve’s economy as the fastest-growing in Portugal.
“Due largely to the tourism sector”, the Algarve’s economy grew 2.7% ahead of the North and Centre (+1.9% each), the Azores (+1.7%) the Alentejo (+1.4%) and Lisbon (+1.2%). Only Madeira saw its economy decline, though marginally (-0.1%).
Despite this, the Algarve only accounts for a small 4.4% slice of Portugal’s GDP (gross domestic product).
Lisbon represents the largest portion (36.4%), followed by the North (29.5%), Centre (18.9%) and the Alentejo (6.4%).