MORE THAN 60,000 visitors to tourist offices in the Alentejo region were registered by the Turismo Planície Dourada, tourism board, in 2007, representing a six per cent increase over 2006.
This increase is in part because of the 59 per cent increase in foreign visitors to the region. However, a 28 per cent decrease in national tourists who visited the tourism offices was also recorded in 2007.
Tourism offices which recorded the largest increase in visitors last year were Vidigueira and Barrancos with a 43 per cent and 42 per cent increase respectively. Castro Verde, Serpa and Mértola also recorded significant increases in visitor numbers to their offices.
Overall, Portuguese nationals represented 58.7 per cent of all the visitors, followed by British, Spanish, French and German tourists.
Tourist offices in Odemira county registered more than 18,000 new visitors, with a 50 per cent distribution of national and foreign tourists.