July boost for hotel industry

Hoteliers in Portugal had a reason to smile in July as they welcomed 1.6 million guests, 3.3% more than in the same month last year, resulting in a total of 5.3 million overnight stays (+3.8%).

Official data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) revealed, however, that a slowdown has been noted when compared to the months of May and June this year, when the number of overnight stays was up 11.1% and 8.6% respectively on the same months in 2012.

Figures collected between January to July also revealed some positive results as hotel units welcomed 3.5% more guests, totalling eight million, and 22.9 million overnight stays (+4.9%).

According to accommodation type, guesthouses (pousadas) recorded the biggest growth in overnight stays in July (+12.9%), followed by hotels (+7.4%). Five star units contributed the most to the positive results with a 16.8% rise in the number of overnight stays that month, also making more beds available (+11.9%) than in the same month in 2012.

On the other hand, tourist apartments recorded a slight reduction in overnight stays, but accumulated figures from January to July were largely positive (+9.7% for tourist complexes and +7.4% for tourist apartments).

In July, foreign guests contributed to 3.7 million overnight stays, representing a 6% increase on June and 7.9% rise from January to July when compared to the same period last year.

The British market was responsible for 22.9% of overnight stays (+8.7%) in July, followed by the German market which accounted for 11.1% and the French with 7.7%, both recording a 9.9% increase on the same month last year.

The Spanish market was, however, down 1.4% and represented 12.2% of the total number of overnight stays in July, along with the Dutch and Italian markets, which also decreased by 5.4% and 5.7% respectively.

The Irish market, however, recorded significant growth in July – up 10.5% on July 2012 – and continuing the positive trend already registered in June (+25.9%) and May (+41.1%).

In the Algarve, Portuguese nationals accounted for 41.4% of the total of overnight stays in July, but a decrease was felt (-4.2%) when compared to the same month last year.

The regions with the highest occupancy levels in July were Madeira with 71.6% and the Algarve (70%), followed by the Azores (62.8%) and Lisbon (60.7%).

Total revenue in the Portuguese hotel industry that month amounted to €252.7 million, with €186.4 million relating to accommodation takings (up 6.7% and 7.3% respectively on July 2012).

August data was still not available.