Tourism results from 2021 have proven that indeed the sector is picking up after several difficult months. According to data presented by the National Statistics Institute (INE), national tourism rebounded last year, overcoming much of the impacts caused by the pandemic in 2020. In an estimate presented by INE, the sector closed the year with 14.5 million guests and 37.5 million overnight stays, corresponding to increases of 39.4% and 45.2%, respectively.
Still, 2019 remains an unbeatable year for tourism in Portugal, having received 27 million tourists, almost double the number of last year.
Will we surpass 2019’s numbers in 2022? We recently talked with LovelyStay’s pricing manager who talked about the outlook for tourism for this year. Learn more at the link!
Looking at the nationalities of visitors in 2021, national tourism maintained the UK as the main source market, accounting for 16.6% of non-resident overnight stays and having increased 54.6% compared to the previous year, says INE. Behind are the Spanish (14.3% of the total), German (11.9%), and French (11.8%) markets. The main growths were observed in the Irish (+202.1%), Polish (+169.5%), North American (+141.3%), and Swiss (+102.8%) markets.
In December alone, the domestic market contributed with 1.1 million overnight stays and the foreign markets contributed with 1.5 million.
In 2021 the average stay in tourist accommodations in Portugal, according to INE, was 2.6 nights (up from 2.47 nights in 2020 and in line with 2019), but there are regional disparities. The Central and Northern regions have average length stays of 1.8 nights, below the 2.3 nights of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. The regions where tourists choose to extend their stays the most are the Algarve and Madeira, with average stays of 4 and 4.7 nights, respectively.
Last year the Algarve continued to lead tourist activity in Portugal, concentrating 29% of the nearly 37.5 million overnight stays in tourist accommodations in the country, according to INE. The second most active region was the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, with 21%. The third most active region was the North, with 16%, followed by the Center and Madeira, both with 12%. With less activity, the Alentejo was responsible for 6%, and the Azores for almost 4%.
Translated by Miguel Marinho Soares