Tourism in the Algarve getting back on track

Data collected from the National Institute for Statistics in Portugal (INE) has shown that the Algarve looks to be back on track with rising numbers of tourists to the region.

The number of overnight stays in the region has grown by more than 34% when comparing April 2011 to April 2010.

This level of growth is the highest in the country, with Madeira ranked second in Portugal with a growth of 16.5%.

Overall there were 1,218,000 overnight stays registered in the Algarve this April, compared to 904,000 during April 2010, with the region accounting for the largest proportion of overnight stays in Portugal followed by Lisbon which registered 827,200 during April 2011.

Not only do the statistics show that more people visited the Algarve in April 2011 in comparison to the same period in 2010, the number of nights on average spent by people in the region has also increased from 3.9 nights to 4.3 nights.

Despite being the most popular place in Portugal to visit, the Algarve is not the most expensive with average room prices rated by the INE as being €23 a night in comparison to Lisbon which averages €43.80, Madeira at €34.60 and the north of Portugal which averaged €23.30.

The cheapest place for a room for the night in Portugal remains the central region, with averages remaining the same as last year at €16.60.

British, Brazilian and Spanish visitors are being hailed as the saviours of the tourism sector, according to the Portuguese tourism board.

A spokesman said: “During the month of April in Portugal, the Brazilian market grew by more than 45%, the Spanish by 30% and the British tourists’ overnight stays also grew by more than 30%, reversing the persistent decline seen in the market in recent years. Specifically in the Algarve, tourists from the United Kingdom have rebounded strongly at 24%.”

The Portuguese tourism board believes that a combination of a broad choice of five star hotel accommodation and increased international marketing has helped to boost the numbers, while Easter falling late in April also contributed, particularly to the increased number of Spanish visitors.

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