Hotels in Algarve expect to be full for New Year’s Eve
Algarve hotels with entertainment programmes are expected to be full at the end of the year.
“We feel that all hotels with New Year’ Eve programmes and entertainment will be full, but I doubt very much whether hotels that only have accommodation and no entertainment programmes will be full,” Hélder Martins, president of the Algarve Association of Hotels and Tourism Developments (AHETA), told Lusa news agency.
According to the head of the largest hotel association in the south of the country, “the expectation is that, with the holidays (of December 1 and 8), Christmas and New Year, the Algarve sector can grow to an occupancy rate that can go up to 40 or 50% in December.”
This would be a considerable increase on December 2019, the last year before the pandemic, when the occupancy rate was 32%, counting only the range of hotels that were open, Hélder Martins said.
Many hotels in the south of the country close during the winter months, a low season period, which is more sought after by groups of golfers or meetings of large companies.
“Right now, we are 10% above 2019 reservations and prices have also increased in that order of amount, about 10%,” said Martins, who has already received the answers to a survey carried out among AHETA associates.
The leader of the hoteliers’ association warns, however, that there will be many last-minute bookings, between Christmas and the New Year, which will be influenced by the weather outlook for the last days of 2022.
The hoteliers are now “all waiting” for the “last minute” bookings from December 15 onward, he stressed, stating that there is an “encouraging outlook” for the end of the year, with the domestic market, once again, being responsible for most of the occupancy in December.
Meanwhile, the president of the Algarve tourism board João Fernandes said that the sector in the region has “quite interesting levels” for New Year’s Eve and that, from the contacts he has made with the region’s hoteliers, an increase in turnover is expected compared to 2019.
He confessed to being “surprised” by “three developments” this New Year’s Eve: an increase in reservations from the national market, a growth in reservations made directly with the hotels and, also, reservations made earlier than usual.
“The weather forecasts from December 15 are for clear weather, good temperatures and a mild climate, which will also help with last minute bookings,” he added.
Fernandes said that the sector “is feeling an increase in initiatives from companies and groups of friends and family who are organising Christmas dinners and some parties, especially from the national market.”
The president of the tourism board took the opportunity to highlight the “investment in a powerful programme” made by various municipal councils, giving the example of Praia dos Pescadores in Albufeira, in Quarteira, in Loulé and in Tavira.