Justin N. Froyd - Apr 4, 2022
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The Covid-19 pandemic is having a drastic effect on the tourism industry worldwide and some countries are still struggling to recover. Others, however, are seeing signs of improvement and slowly approaching pre-pandemic levels. One of these countries is Portugal, with the country having registered positive numbers during the month of February.

In February, 1.2 million tourists arrived in the country, with 2.9 million overnight stays registered by local authorities. This corresponds to increases of 507 % and 527 %, respectively, compared to the same month last year.

Hotels Rejoice over Significant Rise

However, when comparing the data with February 2020, during which the pandemic had not yet reached Portugal, there is still a deficit of 21.2 % and 23.1 %.

As reported by the National Statistics Institute (INE), the hotel industry is the real winner of this rise. Overnight stays in these establishments (81.4 % of total) increased by 621.2 %, although they also noted the biggest drop compared to 2020 – 26. 4 %.

Local accommodation establishments (15.3 % of the total) saw an increase of 281.8 %, with the difference compared to 2020 also being smaller – 6.9 %. Tourism in rural areas was the only category which grew compared to 2020 (+ 12.6%) after an increase of 404.1 % this year.

Both the number of residents and non-residents, in the meantime, remain below those of the last month before the pandemic, by 11.1 % and 29.2 %, respectively.

Moreover, in February, 36 % of tourist accommodation establishments were closed or had no movement of guests. This is less than 41.6 % in January, a notable improvement.

Britons the Biggest Contributors

As reported by INE, all the 17 main outbound markets registered “significant increases” in February, representing 87 % of non-residents in the month of February.

The most “modest” increase was that of Czech tourists, who rose by 242 %, while, for example, overnight stays from Danes soared by 1836.5%.

The British market dominated, accounting for 17.8% of the total number of non-resident visitors, followed by German (11.5%) and Spanish (11.4%) tourists.

Regarding destinations, in February, there were increases in stays in all regions. The Lisbon metropolitan area concentrated 29.2% of all of them, followed by the Algarve (20.3%), Norde (18.1%) and the autonomous region of Madeira (13.5%). However, compared to February 2020, all regions showed a decrease.

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