A «pleasant surprise»: Algarve did not have so many tourists in January since 2001

Month could have been «even better, if some emblematic units were not closed»

Since 2001, the Algarve has not received so many tourists in January. The occupancy rate last month, in the region, was a «pleasant surprise» even for Hélder Martins, president of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), who did not anticipate such a good performance at the beginning of the year. 

The most recent data from AHETA, which even «were confirmed twice», show that the average occupancy per room of accommodation units in the Algarve was 36,9%, «3,8 percentage points above that verified in 2019», also in January. If the comparison is with 2021, the increase is 11,7 percentage points (pp).

To find a value greater than this, one must go back to 2001, when the average occupancy per room was 37,5%.

In statements to the Sul Informação, Hélder Martins admits that starting 2023 with the highest occupancy in over 20 years makes AHETA happy.

“It's nice to start the year off right. We were not expecting such an increase. It was good that it was the harbinger for an excellent tourist year », he said.


Helder Martins – Photo: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


And the month could have been “even better, if some emblematic units were not closed”, he added.

The good news doesn't stop there: this year, the effects of New Year's Eve on the January accounts are almost nil, since the 1st of January fell on a Sunday.

«It was really all for us (laughs). This significant increase in the occupancy rate appears to be sustained and structural. It would be a dream if that were the case», concludes Hélder Martins.

Also heard by Sul Informação, João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Region, has no doubt that «we are resuming the process of mitigating seasonality and recovering some external markets that took some time to return».

The AHETA figures seem to confirm this recovery in the main source markets.

In January 2023, the biggest increases were in the Irish (+1pp) and British (0,4pp) markets, with emphasis also on the Dutch, Belgian and Canadian markets, which registered important increases compared to 2019.

«By geographical areas, the biggest increases compared to 2019 occurred in the areas of Tavira (+18pp), Faro/Olhão (+13,2pp), and Vilamoura/Quarteira/Quinta do Lago (+11,5pp)», highlights AHETA.


João Fernandes – Photo: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


Despite not being able to give figures yet, since the Algarve Tourism Board relies on data from the National Institute of Statistics to analyze tourist activity, João Fernandes does not hesitate to consider that the first month of 2023 «went well» .

«We had a good month of January, following the path of those before the pandemic. This is already a reflection of the commitment that we have been making in the diversification of the offer and markets», according to the president of Turismo do Algarve.

The same official recalls that this is the IATA winter with more seats on flights available to and from the Algarve and that there are «new origins».

“Things don't happen by chance. This is a work of many years and a continuous effort, which cannot stop, which involves various entities, public and private», concludes João Fernandes.


Read some more!
A strong region needs a strong press and, these days, the press depends on its readers. We make all Sul Infomação content available free of charge, because we believe that it is not through barriers that the public approaches responsible and quality journalism. Therefore, your contribution is essential.  
Contribute here!