Last year saw a recovery in Portuguese tourism activity, but visitor data are still below the 2019 levels because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the findings of the National Statistics Institute (INE), released last week.
“2021 still experienced the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic constraints, especially the lockdown measures in the first half and end of the year, with negative effects on tourism. Although this grew compared to 2020, a year of unprecedented contraction in tourism activity, it fell short of 2019 levels”, the INE report said.
In 2021, the number of non-resident tourists in Portugal is estimated to have reached 9.6 million, corresponding to a growth of 48.4% compared to the previous year (-61.0% compared to 2019).
Spain was the main source market for Portuguese tourism (share of 30.2%), a growth of 57.3% in 2021.
Considering most of the tourist accommodation means, in 2021 there were 16 million guests and 42.6 million overnight stays, increases of 36.9% and 40.7%, respectively (-60.4% and -61.1%, in the same order, in 2020).
Compared to 2019, there were drops of 45.8% in the number of guests and 45.2% in the number of overnight stays. The domestic market guaranteed 22.5 million overnight stays, corresponding to 52.8% of the total, and recorded an increase of 33.2% in 2021 (-13.9% compared to 2019). The overnight stays from external markets had a higher growth (+50.1%, -61.1% compared to 2019) and reached 20.1 million overnight stays (47.2% of the total).