Portuguese head south

Hotel occupancy figures released by the Algarve Hotel and Tourism Association (AHETA) for March have revealed that while some areas have seen large drops in the number of tourists others have seen notable increases.

Albufeira saw occupancy levels fall by 13.5 per cent, however occupancy in Loulé was up by 18 per cent in comparison to March 2009, while in Praia da Rocha and Monte Gordo levels were also up by 8.8 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively.

Overall, the average occupancy rate in the region was at 41.4 per cent, however March figures should take into account the early Easter and therefore traditional increased numbers in tourists.

Meanwhile, domestic tourism has grown in the Algarve with an increase of 19.4 per cent in Portuguese tourists.  This has helped to counter the decrease in British tourists, a market that fell by 17.3 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.