‘Best tourism results ever’ give hope for the future, says Economy Minister

in Algarve · 20-02-2014 14:40:00 · 0 Comments
‘Best tourism results ever’ give hope for the future, says Economy Minister

Speaking at a press conference Portugal’s Economy Minister Pires de Lima announced that 2013 was the country’s best year ever in terms of tourism, according to data from the National Statistics Institute, and was yet another reason for “trust and hope” in the country’s ability to be economically and financially autonomous.

At the conference, held in Lisbon last Thursday, the Minster said that tourism was the sector that had most contributed to the overall commercial trade balance in 2013 and that the results were due, first and foremost, to the fact that Portugal is “an excellent tourist destination.”
“And we are good at it”, he stressed.
Secondly, Minister Pires de Lima added, the pleasing results are also due to the private operators within the sector – business-owners, managers and employees in general – who are “more competent than the competition” and “have shown resilience.”
“The third reason is because we have adopted, since mid-2011 (…) a model of promoting Portugal that was more effective and efficient in attracting tourists than it traditionally has been in the past”, he elaborated.
The National Statistics Institute (INE) last week revealed that, throughout 2013, hotels accommodated 14.4 million guests, 4.2 percent more than in 2012, and registered 41.7 million nights spent in the country, 5.2 percent more than the year before.
The boost was mainly drummed up by visitors from external markets, the results found, as the number of nights spent in a hotel by residents dipped slightly.

Revenue was also up 5.4 percent on last year’s total, having reached upwards of €1.9 billion.
“In 2013 tourism established itself as the sector that most contributed towards the positive outcome of our balance of trade. This balance came in at around 104.3 percent and was positive for the first time in decades”, Pires da Lima stressed.
In the Minister’s opinion the results are “very important and historic” as they “don’t only represent the best year ever” but they also come at an economic moment that is particularly demanding and very challenging.”
And, he recalled, of the 128,300 jobs created in the Portuguese economy between March and December 2013, 25,703 of them were created by tourism or activities related to tourism.”
Meanwhile, in related news, the Algarve also announced “record” results in 2013, with figures from the INE being up on results from 2012 in terms of nights spent in the region, air passengers, and rounds of golf played on the Algarve’s famous greens.
Overall the country’s main tourism destination notched up more than €600,000 in hotel-generated revenue last year.
Visitors last year spent 14.8 million overnights in the Algarve’s hotels, up 3.5 percent on figures from 2012, representing 35 percent of all nights spent by tourists in Portugal.
The number of guests who visited the region also grew by 3.6 percent on figures from the year before to 3.15 million people, who generated a record-breaking €609 million in overall revenue.
Furthermore, during the course of 2013, Faro International Airport saw some six million passengers pass through its doors, while 1,008,287 rounds of golf were played on the region’s greens, smashing through the one-million barrier for the first time since 2009.


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