According to the president of Tourism of Porto and North of Portugal (TPNT), Luís Pedro Martins, this is “a clear sign of the Portuguese preference”.

Considering only the month of June, and according to data released by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the region received 303,190 guests (+142.8 percent compared to 2020), having only been surpassed by the Algarve, with around 311,000 tourists.

In the accumulated result for the first six months of the year, guests in the Porto and North region amounted to 885,600.

“It is a sign of recovery in the sector, although still far from the data for 2019, when the region was experiencing historic growth, in a record year in all indicators”, said the president of TPNP.

Luís Pedro Martins added that it is therefore, “necessary to continue to invest in the promotion of the region and the four sub-destinations that comprise it, presenting its assets, in particular the safety and differentiation of products, ranging from nature to adventure tourism and also including religious tourism, wine tourism or city breaks”.

In terms of overnight stays, Porto and the North recorded a total of 536,663 in June, an increase of 163 percent compared to 2020.

For the TPNP leader, “the policy that was adopted in the creation of the Covid European Digital Certificate is an excellent incentive for a progressive return to normality”, but “the repercussions on the ground are still tenuous, so it will be mainly in the medium term, when European countries and others in our main outbound markets, such as Brazil and the US, begin to achieve group immunity”.

“What you see on the ground is that the overnight stays are mostly from Portuguese residents, in most cases, in small groups and families and from nearby markets such as Spain, France and Germany”, he added.

Luís Pedro Martins is confident that, progressively, “the region will return to normality: I am convinced that the months of July and August will already show us some very interesting numbers, as happened in 2020, in the sub-regions of Douro, Minho and Trás-os-Montes, but now also in the big cities”, he concluded.

Nationally, the tourist accommodation sector registered 3.9 million guests and 9.4 million overnight stays in the first half of the year, 15.6 percent and 19.1 percent less than in the same period of 2020, although in June it showed sharp growth.