Algarve hoteliers lament “worst year ever”

2020 was the worst year ever for Algarve tourism, said Elidérico Viegas, president of the Algarve hoteliers association (AHETA).

“Never before has there been such a bad year, with a global dip in external demand of around 75% and a decrease of around €900 million in business volume,” he told Lusa news agency this week.

December was another record month for Algarve hotels for all the wrong reasons, just like most months since the Covid-19 pandemic reached Portugal in March.

Of the 80 hotels that remained open in December, only 14.5% of rooms were booked, representing a 60.7% year-on-year drop.

According to AHETA, there were fewer Dutch (-83.3%), British (-79.6%), German (-58.4%) and Portuguese (-37%) holidaymakers.

Business volume also took a sharp hit in December (-62.3%).

Taking the whole year into account, AHETA revealed that the number of overnight stays at the region’s “over 400 officially classified accommodation units” dropped by 15.3 million.

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