Algarve tourism boss Desidério Silva has joined the chorus of New Year optimism, telling Lusa news agency that the region’s hotels are nearly completely booked, especially between December 28 and New Year’s Eve.
“What we are sensing is that, at the end of the year, the Algarve will be nearly 100% booked,” he said.
Silva added that “demand is very strong” and that many New Year events are already “sold out”.
The president of the Algarve’s tourism board (RTA) explained that while other regions in Portugal are more popular as Christmas destinations, the Algarve has established itself among the top locations for New Year’s Eve.
As he points out, the region boasts a “wealth of restaurants and New Year’s parties with very good programmes” for all tastes and budgets.
Silva also said that Algarve tourism this year has outdone 2015, considered a record-breaking year for the sector.
Though he agrees that things are looking up, the president of the Algarve’s hotel association (AHETA) says they could be even better if New Year’s Day (January 1) was not on a Sunday.
“Normally, when New Year allows people to take more days off, it is better,” Elidérico Viegas considered.
Last year, for example, New Year’s Day was on a Friday meaning that people spent the rest of weekend in the Algarve as well.
This year, however, many will have to travel home to be back at work by Monday (January 2).
Even so, bookings are set to grow 5%-6% in December, and although the number of Portuguese spending New Year in the Algarve may drop, numbers will be made up by a peak in foreign tourists, predicted Veigas.