Michael Trout - Feb 8, 2021
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Tourism in Portugal recorded a total of 26 million overnight stays in 2020, the lowest figure since 1993, according to a quick estimate released by the National Institute of Statistics.

“In 2020, tourist accommodation has registered 10.5 million guests and 26 million overnight stays, corresponding to annual decreases of 61.2% and 63.0% respectively, after the 7.9% and 4.6% increases in 2019,” stated the report of the statistics office. “We need to go back to 1993, when there were 23.6 million overnight stays, to find a lower number”.

According to the quick estimate of tourism in Portugal in December, the tourist accommodation sector has registered 462.500 guests and 972.700 overnight stays that month, corresponding to negative variations of 70.7% and 72.3% respectively, compared to the same period in 2019.

These figures reflect a slight recovery in the last month of last year, after a decrease of 76.8% in guests and 76.9% in overnight stays in November. The number of overnight stays by residents is expected to have fallen by 53.9%, after a fall of 58.8% in November, and by non-residents by 82.9% (-85.5% the previous month).

In the month under review, 50% of tourist accommodation was closed or had no guest movements (46.9% in November). The internal market contributed 13.6 million overnight stays, a drop of 35.3%. In 2019, this market contributed 6.5%. On the other hand, external markets contributed 12.3 million overnight stays, down 74.9% (up 3.8% in 2019).

In December, the Alentejo continued to show the smallest drop in the number of overnight stays compared to the same month, a fall of 45.1% (-37.7% for residents and -64.5% for non-residents). In December, the other regions registered decreases of more than 60%.

Throughout 2020, the Alentejo was also the region that registered the smallest decrease in the number of overnight stays compared to 2019, falling by 37.3%. Meanwhile, the biggest falls were registered in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (-71.5%) and the Azores Autonomous Region (-71.1%).

All the main issuing markets continued to fall significantly in December. However, most of these falls were smaller than in November.

During the whole of 2020, the main source markets saw falls of more than 65%, particularly Ireland (-89.6%), North America (-87.7%) and China (-82.8%).

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