It’s official: 2019 was another record-breaking year for the Algarve’s tourism sector.
The region’s tourism board (RTA) has reacted with glee to the latest data from the national statistics institute (INE), which shows that the region’s hotels and accommodation establishments registered notable increases in guests (+7.2%), revenue (+7.2%) and overnight stays (+2.5%).
In other words, the Algarve welcomed just over five million guests and registered 20.95 million overnight stays which generated around €1.2 billion in revenue.
Data also shows that the Algarve saw all-round growth in every month of the year except in October, when there was a small drop in the number of guests (459,928 in 2018 to 459,535 in 2019).
Unsurprisingly, the summer months were the busiest despite a “significant reduction in seasonality” – the word often used to describe the slowdown in tourism activity in the Algarve outside of the summer.
INE reports increases in the number of guests in the Algarve in January (+8%), February (+1.2%), April (+13.6%), November (+7.8%) and December (+9%).
Further data shows that throughout 2019, the Algarve welcomed 1.47 million Portuguese holidaymakers (+8.5%) and 3.59 million foreign tourists (+6.7%), with a particularly important 7.1% increase among British visitors who totaled 1.19 million despite all the Brexit-fuelled worries.
The region also saw growth in other markets, welcoming 87,700 Italian visitors (+26.8%), 82,000 Brazilians (+26.5%), and 106,000 Americans (+19.8%).
Faro Airport was also busier than ever, registering 4.46 million passengers – a 3.8% year-on-year increase.
Algarve tourism boss João Fernandes says that these positive results are further proof that “we are, in fact, the country’s main tourism region”.
He believes that the Algarve’s performance is a result of the “work carried out by public and private entities” and shows that the tourism sector is “resilient and capable of adapting to the contingencies of what was a particularly demanding year”.
To back up his statement, he cited the positive results coming from the British market due to “strategies to anticipate Brexit”, its ability to attract more holidaymakers from big markets such as the USA and Brazil and the way it brought more people here outside of the busy summer season.