"The outlook and reality of hotel demand at the beginning of this year is, frankly, optimistic and we already have an occupancy rate very close to 100% for this extended Carnival weekend period," Teresa Martins, general manager of the M.Ou.Co. Hotel in Porto's Bonfim area, told Lusa.

Unlike the same period of 2022, whose reality was still "very influenced by the pandemic scenario we were living", the perspectives for 2023 consolidates the results of recovery we have been witnessing, as well as the validation of the will to travel and the search for new experiences", Teresa Martins added, revealing that the main markets that are making reservations in that hotel unit are the Portuguese, French and Spanish markets.

The Bessa Hotel Baixa, in downtown Porto, is almost full, with occupancy rates between 90% and 95%, and the Bessa Hotel, in the area of Avenida da Boavista, has an occupancy rate of around 60%, Renato Correia, general director of Bessa Hotel Boavista, told Lusa.

The hotel occupancy rate for Carnival at the Hotel Moov Porto Centro is around 83%, says Mariana Ramos, from the Marketing & Sales Manager section of Moov Hotels.

"From Friday to the Carnival holiday [Tuesday, the 21st], the occupancy of the Hotel Moov Porto Centro is, on average, 83%. The pre-Carnival weekend corresponds to the period when we will have the most occupied rooms, with a particular emphasis on Saturday night when we expect to reach full occupancy, with 97% of rooms booked so far".

For the Carnival holiday, so far the outlook is that we can count on 69% of the rooms being occupied. Therefore, everything indicates that guests that come to us give priority to spending the weekend away and extend it, in some cases, in the following days", he added.

The two Vila Galé hotels in Porto have a 50% occupancy rate for the Carnival mini-break, but bookings may "increase" over the next few days, because the current trend is to have "many last minute bookings", said an employee from the reservations area of that hotel chain.

Reservations for the same period in 2022 were substantially lower, at around 30%, she recalled, justifying it as the "pandemic hangover".