Photo: Bruno Filipe Pires/Open Media

Algarve summer bookings “below expectations”

Hoteliers blame rising interest rates

This summer is not going as expected for hotels and tourist establishments in the Algarve, with booking numbers so far “below expectations”.

So says the Algarve hotelier association (AHETA), which is blaming the slower start to this summer on rising interest rates.

“We are slightly below what we had anticipated; we expected more. This rise in interest rates was an unexpected ‘gift’ that greatly affected people’s lives,” AHETA president Hélder Martins told SIC last week.

“It is true that Portugal and Spain are the two markets that are missing here. The Portuguese have always loved the Algarve, and the Algarve is open to them, but there are other appealing destinations where the price also matters significantly, and people opt for those,” he added.

Despite the decrease in tourist numbers, Hélder Martins has guaranteed that the sector is managing to match or even surpass 2022.

“We might be slightly below 2019, but we are maintaining or even surpassing 2022, which was already a good year,” he said.

There is still hope that “last-minute bookings” may help improve the current situation and stressed that there is still room at the region’s hotels, apartments and resorts.

The latest data revealed by AHETA shows that bookings increased by 3.2 percentage points in June compared to the same month last year, although they decreased by 1pp compared to June 2019 – the last year before the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Michael Bruxo

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