Luxury tourism rising in the Algarve.jpg

Luxury tourism rising in the Algarve

Figures have been released from AHETA, the Algarve’s hotel industry and hoteliers association, showing a rise in tourism this year, as well as a greater demand for more luxurious holidays.

In April, the average occupancy in the Algarve was 62.7 per cent, showing a rise of 11.3 per cent from April 2005. Vilamoura, Quarteira and the Quinta do Lago area showed the highest occupancies in the Algarve with 71 per cent, and the lowest being Portimão with 50 per cent. Four and five star apartments were, on average, only half full, whereas four and five star hotels were almost three-quarters full.

It is reported that more tourists are looking for a good deal in luxurious and expensive areas. House rentals are said to be increasing in areas such as Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura, as many tourists are turning down cheap hotel deals in favour of paying full accommodation for villas and apartments. People are also opting for the more expensive hotels because they know they will be guaranteed quality service and beautiful views, returning home feeling pampered.

It may be that visitors are choosing these locations because more money is invested in the areas. It may also be that tourists, especially from Britain, hope that they will spot their favourite footballer or soap star, knowing that the Algarve is becoming increasingly popular for celebrity activity. Whatever the true reason, there is a huge demand for rentals by the coast and in affluent zones of the Algarve. Land is quickly snapped up by investors hoping to cash in on this growing trend, even though prices for plots close to the beach are incredibly high.

It has always been thought that the English and the Germans had the greatest spending power to invest in the Algarve, but the Irish are now being regarded as important potential buyers. Banks are realising this and offering incentives to buy using their resources.

At the moment, the market is inundated with demands for privacy, solitude and luxury in beautiful areas. The hope is that this need for luxury is not just a temporary phase ….

Natasha Smith