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Photo: Bruno Filipe Pires/Open Media

High hopes for Easter weekend in Algarve

Tourism board predicts over 90% occupation during Easter; hoteliers expect 70%

Tourism officials and hoteliers in the Algarve are expecting a very busy weekend for Easter, with the regional tourism board (RTA) predicting occupation rates per room to exceed 90%.

The Algarve association of hotels and tourism developments (AHETA) remains a bit more cautious, predicting an occupation of around 70% during the Easter weekend – a 3% increase compared to 2022. AHETA’s forecast is based on a survey carried out among its associates earlier this month.

Either way, it seems certain that the Algarve will be filled with holidaymakers seeking to enjoy the festive season in the sun.

Speaking to Lusa news agency, AHETA boss Hélder Martins said that the Spanish and UK markets are pivotal to the Algarve’s Easter bookings, followed by the French and Dutch markets.

American tourists are also discovering the Algarve as an Easter destination despite the lack of direct flights between the US and the region. They usually arrive in Lisbon and Seville (Spain) before making their way to the Algarve, which Martins believes limits the growth of the American market in the Algarve.

“This isn’t a market of tourists who come here and leave the next day. It is evident that we need (direct) flights) for this market, and it is an extremely important market, to grow,” the AHETA president said.

Meanwhile, João Fernandes from RTA said that Easter bookings are “more stable” than during the pandemic years, with an increasing number of tourists (around 30%) paying in advance.

“Everything is pointing to another year of records, but what we do not get tired of saying is that we are optimistic but cautious, because there is obviously great instability on an international level and our expectations can be dashed by external factors,” he said.

The optimism also stems from the efforts by RTA to increase the number of flights offered at Faro Airport, where 18 new routes will be debuted this year, two of which started operating this Monday (Rome and Aarhus).

“There are also several new features that the destination now has in terms of air links, which are the result of a joint effort between RTA, Turismo de Portugal and ANA Airports and translate into 335,000 new seats for the summer,” said Fernandes.

By Michael Bruxo

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