Surveys have revealed that hotels in Sintra and Estoril almost doubled their prices in June and hotels in Lisbon increased their prices by up to 68 per cent. But, in spite of the price hike, occupancy rates were still 15 per cent above normal, almost certainly due to extra demand created by the Euro 2004 tournament. But the President of the Lisbon Tourist Association, Pedro Pinto, claimed these increases did not undermine the capital’s competitiveness, highlighting its value for money compared to other European cities such as Madrid or Barcelona.
Estoril and Sintra, in the vicinity of the capital, were the two areas that registered the biggest increases. But even other areas, such as the Costa Azul zone and the area from Leiria to Fatima, saw prices in three-star hotels rise by 29.3 per cent and by 46.1 per cent in four and five star hotels.
The details, released by the Lisbon Tourist Association, concluded that, for example, a room in one of the city’s three star hotels, that cost 51.54 euros in 2003, was on offer for 92.64 euros this year. And a five-star hotel that cost 188.50 euros last year cost 310.48 euros last year.
Lisbon hoteliers’ expectations for the next few months are also positive. According to a an inquiry carried out in May, among the 250 associates of Lisbon Tourism, 68.2 per cent of members were optimistic, while only 4.5 per cent expressed pessimism about the next 12 months. All this is in marked contrast to the Algarve where tourism has had another poor spring and early summer.