Data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) reveals that non-resident overnight stays in tourist accommodation between January and June 2019, 2020 and 2021 fell from 21,894, to 6,259 and 3,078, with no signs of recovery since the first cases of Covid-19 disease were recorded last year.

In the first half of this year, increases were registered in the Polish (+29 percent), Swiss (+11.9 percent) and Belgian (+3.3 percent) markets, while the remaining main markets registered decreases, according to data released on 30 July by the institute.

On the contrary, overnight stays by residents in Portugal, which fell from 8,828 to 4,117 between the first half of 2019 and 2020, recovered in the first six months of this year to 5,092, although INE highlights that in June, 25.3 percent of tourist accommodation establishments were closed or didn’t record guest movement (37.2 percent in May).

"Note that these variations are influenced by the fact that in the first two months of 2020 the impact of the pandemic has not yet been felt," highlights the institute, in the publication released on 30 July, advancing that, compared to the first half of 2019, the overnight stays decreased by 73.4 percent (-42.3 percent in residents and -85.9 percent in non-residents).

In the first half of the year, there were increases in the number of overnight stays in the Autonomous Region of the Azores (+28.2 percent) and Alentejo (+15.4 percent), while the remaining regions showed decreases, according to INE.

In the first six months of the year, overnight stays by residents increased in all regions, especially in Madeira (+99.8 percent) and the Azores (+66.3 percent), and in the Algarve (+52.6 percent).

In this period, INE records in all regions decreases in the number of nights spent by non-residents, with the smallest reductions recorded in Alentejo (-15.9 percent), while the remaining regions showed decreases of over 30 percent.

In June, the tourist accommodation sector recorded 1.4 million guests and 3.4 million overnight stays, reflecting growth of 186.9 percent and 230.1 percent, respectively (+674.2 percent and +681.2 percent in May, in the same order), but compared to June 2019, guests decreased by 50.1 percent and overnight stays fell by 52.6 percent.

The overnight stays in hotels (80.1 percent of the total) increased in June by 261.5 percent, compared to June 2020, but decreased by 54 percent compared to June 2019.

Overnight stays in local accommodation establishments (14.1 percent of the total) grew 183.4 percent (-53.9 percent compared to the same month of 2019) and those in rural and residential tourism (5.9 percent share) increased 84.4 percent (-6.6 percent compared to June 2019).

The June figures, however, were below those of the same month of 2019, with INE recording a decrease in the number of guests and overnight stays of 50.1 percent and 52.6 percent, respectively.

In June, overnight stays by residents increased in the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores and in the Alentejo and Algarve, the latter concentrating 34.1 percent of overnight stays, followed by the Lisbon Metropolitan Authority (16.8 percent), the North (15.8 percent) and the Centre (12.6 percent).

The average stay in tourist accommodation establishments (2.49 nights) increased by 15.1 percent in June (+0.9 percent in May), as a result of the fact that the average stay of residents increased by 5 percent and non-residents by 6.9 percent.