The upbeat outlook is despite a fairly consistent decline in demand from UK tourists, against a background of uncertainty about the country’s exit from the European Union.
"Occupancy at Easter will approach one hundred percent and this year – also because Passover is late, and so this period marks the beginning of the so-called tourist season - we will not see such a sharp drop as happens when Easter is in March, for example, when a period of decline follows, with the tourist season beginning only later," Elidérico Viegas, president of the Algarve Hotels and Tourism Resorts Association (AHETA), told Lusa.
“The prospects are more or less identical to those of last year", said Viegas, recalling that a "decline in demand from the British market has been expected, in line with what has been going on in the last two years and since January." Meanwhile, there has also been "an increase in domestic demand by [Portuguese] nationals, which also characterises demand in this period."
As domestic demand rises, it adds to the increase from "those markets that individually do not represent much, but all together help to deal with the declines that occur in the British market as a consequence of Brexit and the devaluation of the pound," Viegas explained.
In terms of declines seen in the UK market, the association president cited drops of 8.5% in 2017, 6% in 2018, and a rate of 6% for the first three months of this year.