New influx of Brits to Algarve despite “Brexit fears”

Hoteliers in the Algarve are “surprised” that the number of Brits visiting the region has not only not dropped, but actually increased despite the result of last year’s shock Brexit referendum.

So says Elidérico Viegas of the region’s hotelier and resorts association (AHETA) in a Bloomberg report which focuses on how the UK’s decision to leave the EU has not had the devastating effects that so many predicted.

“The depreciation of the pound led us to believe that there would be a slowdown in the number of British tourists to Portugal but that hasn’t happened,” Viegas told the business portal.

In fact, data from Portugal’s statistics institute (INE) shows that over 122,000 Britons visited the Algarve in the first quarter of 2017 – a 1,2% increase on the same period last year.

Brits continue too to account for 30% of all bookings at Algarve hotels.

As Bloomberg explains: “In the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the bloc, many countries in the EU, where tourism accounts for 5% of GDP, braced for fewer British visitors as the pound slumped. Yet, there’s little sign of a drop so far.”

Low flight fares could be one of the reasons, says Ryanair’s outspoken CEO Michael O’Leary.

“All that growth has been driven by low fares. It is the airlines who are funding all of this,” he told Bloomberg.

Nonetheless, there are some countries that have seen a drop in the number of British tourists due to security issues – Turkey, Egypt and France particularly.

Bloomberg’s full report can be read (here).

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