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Portugal: Tourism returns in 2014 bringing 10 billion for the country's economy

Tourist arrivals in Portugal are up. More than 15 million visitors stayed in the country in 2014, representing 5.5% growth over the previous year. Thanks to the flood of international tourists, the occupancy rate at hotels rose from 63.1 to 68.1%. Considering the sector's importance for the economy the entire country is getting back on its feet.

Unsurprisingly, Portugal beat its record for arrivals. While official figures for international arrivals in 2014 have not yet been revealed by the Secretary of State for tourism Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, the trend on the first eleven months of 2014 is clear: more than 15 million tourists traveled to Portugal, up 5.5% on the same period in 2013.

Growth in arrivals has affected hotel activity in the country. According to MKG Hospitality's figures, the occupancy rate of hotels in Portugal climbed 5 percentage points from 63.1 to 68.1 %.

With an average daily rate excluding taxes up by 2.4 %, the Revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased by 10.6%. 

Foreign tourists pull Portugal upward

"We had a historic year in terms of number of tourists, hotel nights and revenues," declared Adolfo Mesquita Nunes. The number of hotel nights has progressed by 10.8%, which may be explained by the increase in foreign tourists (8.9 million versus 8.3 in 2013). They spent 9.6 billion euros according to the Bank of Portugal. The hotel industry alone, which represents 10% of the country's GDP generated 2.1 billion euros in revenues.

European tourism professionals did not hesitate to promote the destination Portugal. The Bergerac airport (near Bordeaux in France), which has been open to charter flights for four years, focused on Portugal last summer to replace its connection to Marrakech that was canceled further to conflict between Ryanair and Morocco. French tourists have thus climbed ahead of German tourists to become the third most important clientèle in Portugal, after British and Spanish tourists.

Like Spain, Greece and also Croatia, the country has benefited from the unstable geopolitical climate in the Maghreb and the Near East. Growth in Portuguese tourism allows the economy to get its head above water: it is the first year since the cirisis that the country has recorded growth in its GDP, although the RevPAR of hotels began to bounce back in 2013. To learn more about the outlook for 2015, find the Hospitality forcasts in the MKG report 2015/2016. 

Also read :

  • Portugal : brooding hoteliers are picking up again
  • Lisbon, the White City regains colors

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