Algarve to fill up for New Year’s as bookings recover to “pre-crisis levels”

A report by Diário de Notícias has placed the Algarve among the Portuguese destinations that are set to fill to bursting for New Year’s Eve.

Though accommodation charges are rising, hoteliers predict bookings will return to “pre-crisis levels”.

Says João Jesus, head of sales for the Tivoli hotel chain in the Algarve: “If we don’t, it will be close.”

“Most hotels aren’t closing for winter any more and the general feeling is that demand will be much stronger,” he told DN – adding that 30% of the chain’s hotel rooms in the Algarve are already booked which represents a 30 percentage point increase compared to last year.

As the Portuguese tend to book at the last minute, Jesus said he hopes the percentage will increase to 80% as December 31 approaches.

Vila Galé agrees, saying two of the chain’s hotels are already fully booked for New Year – (Tavira and Cerro Alagoa, Albufeira).

But the Algarve isn’t the only place the Portuguese are planning to spend their New Year holiday.

Brazil, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Paris, Marrakesh and even the Caribbean are proving to be the “favourites” over Portugal’s southernmost region, says Alberto Machado, spokesperson for travel agent Abreu Viagens.

Cruise trips to Cuba and Dubai are another option gaining popularity.

Abreu Viagens adds that there has also been great interest in cruises along the Douro river and to the Azores archipelago.

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