2014 will be a “”very good year” for tourism. This is the belief of ever-optimistic Desidério Silva, the president of regional tourism board Turismo do Algarve, who talked to Lusa news agency after data was released showing that the Algarve tourism sector grew in terms of tourists, sleepovers, profits and occupancy rates during the summer of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.
The global improvement across the Algarve made it the country’s winning region for tourism during the third quarter of 2013.
The number of hotel guests also grew 2.2% compared to 2012. Most of them were foreigners, which compensated the 2.8% drop in the number of Portuguese holidaymakers.
As usual, the most significant chunk of foreign tourists was British (24.7%), followed, surprisingly, by Spanish (8.8%).
Putting the rest of relevant statistics into simple terms, sleepovers and profits grew 2.5%, while occupancy rates also rose 2.7 percentage points.
“These positive results continue, in a way, the year’s evolution, because when we reached the end of the first half of 2013 we already had a considerable number of sleepovers – over 300,000,” said Silva.
Thus now the board is expecting “a very good year”, with increasing demand also from the German market. Silva added that the number of German tourists grew 25.4% last year.
He also explained the importance of the numerous tourism promotion initiatives that have taken place and that have allowed the region to “captivate” tour operators and others capable of bringing tourists to the Algarve.
Highlighted too was the creation of “all-inclusive” package holidays, with flights and hotels included. These were particularly successful with the Dutch and German markets, said the tourism boss, explaining this is important news, as German and Dutch holidaymakers “normally spend six to seven nights” on their stays, which is a very good sign indeed.
Meanwhile, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism will be the guest speaker at a lunch-debate at the Hilton Vilamoura on February 3 at 12.30pm.
In the event organised by the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC), Adolfo Mesquita Nunes will explain current thinking on how the Plano Estratégico Nacional de Turismo (national strategic plan for tourism) will help to invigorate the sector and attract further investment.
Cost for BPCC members is €35 and for non members €49.20.
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