Joe McClain - Nov 27, 2023
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There has been a significant increase in tourism on the island of Madeira. The records show a rise in the number of overnight stays, income per room, visitors, revenues, rent-a-car, and local accommodations. The tourist dynamic on the island is vibrant and constantly changing, welcoming a new generation of tech-savvy visitors equipped with mobile devices.

To the year of all of Madeira's tourism records

Before the pandemic, Madeira's tourism heavily relied on tour operators. However, with the emergence of online platforms, the organization of tourism has changed significantly. As a result, a new demographic of tourists visited the Autonomous Region of Madeira, leading to a surge in demand. In September, the number of overnight stays surpassed one million for the first time this year, marking a 9.4% increase compared to the same month last year, when 951.6 thousand overnight stays were recorded. The income per room has also increased, exceeding 100 euros.

The number of available beds in Madeira has increased significantly, particularly in local accommodation. According to Eduardo Jesus, the Regional Secretary for Tourism and Culture, there are currently 33,580 beds in tourist resorts and 28,365 beds in local accommodation, up from 31,359 and 19,597, respectively, in 2019. This increase has positively impacted the region's total revenue, which hit an all-time high of €529.6 million in 2022. As of September this year, the revenue stood at €505.1 million, and a new record is expected soon.

Rent-a-car doubled

Tourism has boomed on the island, which has traditionally been accustomed to it. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the number of rent-a-car companies operating on the island. One can easily observe the movement of rental cars throughout the island, especially at mandatory tourist spots such as the beginning of popular hiking trails or at Pico do Areeiro. The traffic police can be seen at these spots, ensuring access and parking remain orderly, unlike the chaotic situations experienced during the summer months.

The number of licensing applications from rent-a-car companies has almost doubled in Madeira in just one year. The Regional Directorate of Economy and Land Transport authorized 34 companies in 2022. However, this year, there are already 62 new rent-a-car companies. In total, 154 companies operate in the region, but it is difficult to determine the exact number of rental cars in circulation. To start a rent-a-car business, seven vehicles are required for the light passenger category and/or three for the other categories.

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