Ferragudo (Photo: Bruno Filipe Pires/Open Media)

“Portuguese tourism must be valued” in the Algarve

Secretary of State calls for reflection over decline in Portuguese tourists in the Algarve

Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism has addressed the decline in national holidaymakers in the Algarve this summer, stressing that “Portugal must continue to care for and promote its domestic tourism.”

“We do have some signs of a decline in stays by Portuguese residents in the Algarve, which does not necessarily mean that Portuguese people are travelling less. They may be travelling to other regions of the country or even abroad,” Nuno Fazenda told Lusa news agency.

However, he also acknowledged that this decrease coincided with an almost 40% increase in the average revenue per room in the Algarve, which means an increase in accommodation prices.

“This calls for a joint reflection from institutions, entrepreneurs, and everyone else because domestic tourism is very important,” the secretary of state said.

Nuno Fazenda was speaking in London during the FTWeekend Festival, where Portugal was highlighted as a sponsor.

The FTWeekend Festival in London is an annual debate event organized by the Financial Times newspaper, bringing together writers, politicians, and artists, with the attendance of several thousand people.

The programme included sessions on fashion, ceramics, investment, real estate, health, technology, gastronomy, and literature in outdoor tents in Hampstead Heath Natural Park.

Among the participants in the festival were Portuguese writer José Luís Peixoto, chefs Henrique Sá Pessoa and José Avillez, and the CEO and founder of the Tempo-Vip travel agency, Danilo Cerqueira.

The partnership with the Financial Times for this event allows Portugal to “position itself in very important segments of literary tourism, wine tourism, gastronomy, and wines,” Fazenda said, describing them as “areas in which Portugal has tremendous potential and that we want to promote from a tourism perspective,” he added.

The United Kingdom is the main source market for tourists to Portugal, representing a share of 18.9% in July, an increase of 4.7 percentage points compared to July 2019, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) released on Thursday.

The Algarve remains the preferred Portuguese destination for 50% of British visitors to Portugal, but the Secretary of State emphasised that the number of overnight stays by the British “is growing significantly in other regions, particularly in the Alentejo and the North, and is also growing at other times of the year.”

“From a strategic point of view, what we want is to continue to grow, but to grow sustainably and authentically, throughout the territory, boosting the less developed regions while not neglecting the main destinations of the Algarve, Lisbon, Porto, and Madeira,” he explained.

By Michael Bruxo

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