“French invasion” boosts Algarve tourism

Forecasts that the Algarve was in for a “French invasion” in 2015 have proved spot on as French tourists account for the biggest boom in tourism data (+20.5%) between January and October.

Compared to 2014, the Algarve also saw strong growth in American (+17.4%) and Belgian (12.4%) markets, according to information sent to the Resident by the regional tourism board (RTA).

There were also more visitors from Ireland (+8.5%), Brazil (+7.1%), the UK (+6.7%), Italy (+6.2%), Spain (+3%) and Germany (2.8%).

In fact, the number of foreign visitors increased 5.6%, though the Algarve suffered from a slight drop in Portuguese tourists (-1.2%).

Still, tourism-related revenue is up 10.4% compared to last year, with a total of €725.4 million generated by the sector.

Further data shows that the UK remains the largest foreign market in the Algarve with over 997.300 visitors, followed by Spain (271.800), Germany (266.000), the Netherlands (186,000), Ireland (180,000) and France (135,800).

Hopes are that the picture will get even better with figures from the last three months.

RTA boss Desidério Silva has already suggested that this year’s festive holidays will be more successful than those of 2014, while Elidérico Viegas, the president of hotelier association (AHETA) predicts a “5% boost” in hotel room bookings.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com