Tourism shows positive growth in 2005.jpg

Tourism shows positive growth in 2005

HOTEL ROOM occupancy increased significantly in 2005 in Greater Lisbon, according to the Lisbon Tourism Association.

Increasing four per cent on 2004, hotels netted nearly 500 million euros which was considered “moderately positive” by the association’s president, Carlos Fontão de Carvalho, who is also vice president of Lisbon Câmara.

Results of the questionnaires distributed throughout Lisbon’s hotel network last year, asking visitors about the level of satisfaction they found in both the hotels and the city, were also positive revealing “a generally high level of satisfaction”.

Of those who filled out the forms, 92.3 per cent were positive about the city, while 89.9 per cent were positive about the region in general. The people, the nightlife and the climate were all cited by tourists as the main reasons for satisfaction, with 97.1 per cent saying they would recommend Lisbon to others and 95.5 per cent recommending the region as a whole, which included Fátima and Setúbal.

When asked why they had decided to visit Lisbon, tourists said they had been influenced by good reports from family and friends, an aspect that the association director general, Vítor Costa, believed was “fundamentally important”.

“This study shows just how much investment has been made in the tourism sector and in the creation of amenities aimed at facilitating visitors’ stay and making it a more enjoyable experience,” he said.

He went on to say there was no promotion better than “word of mouth”, adding that visitors to Lisbon generally enjoyed the bars, museums, restaurants and other attractions the city had to offer.”

Carvalho said that the news was good and encouraging, considering that 2004 had been “an exceptionally good year” for Lisbon due to the staging of the 2004 European Football Championships.

At Lisbon’s Portela Airport, the good news was born out by an increase in incoming passenger numbers by 4.9 per cent. Of the 400,000 new passengers coming through Portela in 2005, around 190,000 passengers arrived via low-cost airlines.