Algarve tourism enjoys autumn boost

NEW FIGURES reveal the Algarve region enjoyed a bumper autumn, with hotel bookings, golfing holidays and air travel all showing increases.

Hotel occupancy increased by 3.7 per cent in October, exceeding the national average of 2.7 per cent, according to Portugal’s National Office of Statistics. In October, the Algarve also hosted 37.1 per cent of the total tourist beds in Portugal (representing around 1.16 million). Algarve hoteliers accrued 36 million euros in tourist receipts in that month alone. Over the first 10 months of the year, the industry amounted a total of 457 million euros.

Between January and October, a total of 12.9 million tourist beds were occupied in the Algarve, more than double that of Lisbon or Madeira. The healthy Algarve autumn is reflected in other data. The monthly bulletin of air traffic statistics from Faro airport for November revealed a 14 per cent year on year increase in passenger numbers, with a total of 4.6 million passengers arriving at Faro airport during the year.

More than half of air arrivals were British

The number of British air travellers showed a year on year increase of 12.2 per cent in November. In total, 2.7 million British air travellers arrived at Faro airport during the period concerned. German and Irish traveller numbers also increased – 26.7 per cent (584,000 passengers) and 78.3 per cent (350,000 passengers) respectively. London was the most popular British airport link to Faro over the same period, accounting for more than 1.1 million passengers and 7,000 flights. Low budget airline easyJet was the most popular carrier to the Algarve, transporting 543,000 passengers.

Algarve golf also benefited from the boom. November recorded 93,014 rounds of golf in the region. The total number of rounds played in the Algarve up to November stood at 952,846, already overtaking the total (915,095) for the whole of 2004. These results came after the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) awarded the Algarve the accolade of “Best Golf Destination in the World”.