Albufeira New Year’s Eve party
Albufeira New Year’s Eve party

Algarve hotels “80% to 100% full” for New Year’s Eve

Last-minute bookings are still expected, said tourism boss João Fernandes

Algarve tourism officials are expecting an occupancy rate of 80%, “or even 100%”, in hotels providing their own entertainment on New Year’s Eve.

These are the prospects of Algarve Tourism Board (RTA) president João Fernandes. Speaking to Lusa news agency on Tuesday, he said: “After two years affected by the pandemic, we had a year of recovery and the outlook for New Year’s Eve is very positive with an average occupancy rate of over 80%.

“Some hotels, especially those that have their own entertainment programmes, have already been sold out for some time.”

Fernandes highlighted the contribution of the Portuguese market, stressing that “although the domestic market is always the most relevant at New Year’s Eve, this year it has had an even more expressive presence”.

This year, more bookings were made directly with hotels – not so much through intermediaries – and “earlier”, said the president of RTA, adding that the weather for December 31 “points to minimum temperatures of 15ºC and maximums of 20ºC, with relatively clear skies”.

The outlook is, therefore, good “in terms of weather”, which gives the opportunity for visitors to enjoy the outdoors.

Last-minute bookings are still expected, said the tourism boss.

In terms of international markets, the Spanish – particularly from the cross-border regions of Andalusia, Extremadura and Galicia – have “a tradition of coming to the Algarve during this period, with a good level of bookings already recorded”, he added.

The Portuguese and Spanish markets are joined by other “traditional markets”, such as “the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the French-speaking markets”, he said.

“These are the reasons why AHETA, the region’s hotel association, is forecasting an increase in turnover for this period of 10%, which is very significant,” he pointed out.

Asked whether the increase in turnover was related to greater demand or a rise in prices, João Fernandes replied that AHETA’s 10% rise prediction is the result of “the two factors combined”.

“Prices have followed the cost of production because of inflation. In practice, this also has repercussions on sales to the public,” added Fernandes. “The Algarve, when compared with rival destinations in southern Europe, continues to be a good bet” for those who want to spend a few days away over the festive season.

There is “a great line up in terms of entertainment, concerts, firework shows and musical displays”, as in the cases of Albufeira or Portimão.

“New Year’s Eve is popular in Praia dos Pescadores (Albufeira) or Praia da Rocha (Portimão), but there are many other venues, such as Tavira and Lagos, or in the interior of the Algarve as well, such as Monchique, which has been increasingly sought after for this period, or even Quarteira,” he concluded.

Across the Algarve, several parties have been organised by local boroughs.

Source: Lusa