Tourism: 2014 a

Tourism: 2014 a "remarkable year"

Figures || The Algarve’s regional tourism board (RTA) has pronounced itself delighted by this year’s “remarkable” results, compared to 2013.
The latest data from national statistics institute (INE) shows that more sleepovers were registered in the region in the first 10 months of 2014 than in the 12 months of 2013.
It has been a year that is “remarkable on every level”, confirms the RTA – be it sleepovers, guest numbers or revenue, with more Portuguese and Spanish tourists clocked visiting the region as well.
“It just goes to confirm our best forecasts,” tourism boss Desidério Silva said. “In 2014, we achieved the best (tourism) numbers of the last few years and the Algarve continues to be the ‘motor’ for Portugal’s tourism sector.”
From January to October, the region’s hotels and guesthouses registered 15.5 million sleepovers – 11.2% more than the same period last year.
Added to this, the Algarve accounted for 760,000 more sleepovers in the first 10 months of 2014 than throughout 2013, when the sleepover total was placed at 14.7 million.
These improvements were fuelled by an increase in the number of foreign tourists (19.5%) and nationals (8.7%). The biggest rise was in the number of sleepovers of Spanish tourists (836,000 sleepovers, a 26.8% increase), followed by British (5 million, an 8.8% increase) and German (1.47 million, a 5.5% increase).
Further data from INE shows that profits went up 14.1%, reaching a total of €665 million in the first 10 months of this year, compared to the same period in 2013 – while the number of guests at tourist establishments also grew 15%, placing at 3.3 million.
However, tourism bosses are still stumped over how to promote the region in the low-season that finds many hotels and restaurants closing altogether.
Elsewhere, 2014 was a boom year for Portugal’s tourism sector as a whole.
INE data shows that the number of sleepovers increased 10.8% between January and October 2014 compared to the same period last year, representing a total of over 41 million.
The number of visitors also went up by 11.9% to a total of 14.2 million, while profits grew by 12.5%, representing €1.9 billion.
On an international level, it was also a remarkable year as the country won a total of 19 World Travel Awards – regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the tourism sector.
A number of the ‘Oscars’ went to establishments in the Algarve, such as the five-star Conrad Algarve in Almancil (‘World’s Leading Luxury Leisure Resort’ ) and Vila Joya in Albufeira, ‘World’s Leading Hotel Restaurant’.