AHETA: 2016 "exceeded" business expectations and 2017 "will grow at a good pace"

The year of 2016 surpassed, in the opinion of the Association of Hotels and Touristic Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), «business expectations», […]

The year 2016 surpassed, according to the Association of Hotels and Touristic Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), «business expectations», and, for example, the average occupancy rate was 64,4%, 7% more than in 2015.

For this year, forecasts also point to «a 3,1% growth» in these rates and 6,1% in turnover.

In this context, it is expected that, in 2017, for the first time since the turn of the century, hotel and tourist companies in the Algarve will reach occupancy rates per year close to 65 percent, allowing entrepreneurs to start managing the pricing and , in this way, the final results and the profitability of its investments, which has not been verified since 2001.

In 2016, the British market, the largest supplier of tourists to the Algarve, with an increase of 14,7%, and the other external markets, were the main responsible for the increase, as the national and Spanish markets registered decreases of 9,5 % and 10,4%, respectively.

The best performances came from 4-star hotels and 5-star and 4-star tourist villages and apartments, while 5-star hotels maintained their occupancy rates, although their revenues and net and operating results improved.

As for RevPar (income per available room), it improved by 17,7% to 46,2 euros/day during 2016, with direct revenues resulting from invoicing with accommodation amounting to around 670 million euros across the country. region.

The golf courses saw the number of rounds increase by 10,4% to a total of 1.293 thousand, in line with what was seen in hotels and tourist developments.

According to AHETA, «the good results obtained result essentially from the climate of instability that has been affecting many of the Algarve's most direct competitors, namely in Turkey and other destinations in the Mediterranean and Maghreb basins».

«The decrease in VAT on food and beverages was one of the factors that most positively influenced company results, while the excessive tax burden and the devaluation of the pound, following the Brexit, prevented them from being superior,” he adds.

«Among the most negative aspects that characterized the tourist year of 2016, the increase in airport fees, the rise in oil and jet fuel in about 70%, the illegal rental of tourist accommodation inside and outside officially classified developments and the incapacities of the competent authorities – Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE) and Tax Authority (AT) – to deal with this reality», he explains the AHETA.

The uncertainties regarding the EN 125 requalification works, as well as the failures of the “365 Algarve” entertainment program, the announcement of the launch of municipal tourist taxes, the termination of hydrocarbon prospecting and exploration contracts and the lack of labor -generalized work to meet business needs during the tourist season, were other aspects that marked, in the opinion of this association, the 2016 tourist year.

In summary, in 2016, the Algarve received 3,9 million tourists in the officially classified means of accommodation, of which around one million were nationals, corresponding to more than 19,5 million overnight stays.

On the other hand, the Algarve received, in all types of accommodation classified and not officially classified, second homes, houses of family and friends, something like 6,8 million tourists for a total of about 34 million overnight stays, making the region the largest and most important tourist region in Portugal.

The Algarve was also the main net contributor to the country's “Travel and Tourism” item, which amounted to 12,6 billion euros in the year under review, with the region accounting for about 50% of this amount.