According to figures released this week by the Algarve Association of Hotels and Tourist Developments (AHETA) – the Algarve’s largest hotel association – the average global room occupancy rate was 53.7 percent, just a shade lower than the figure recorded in 2018.

However, this year there were fewer Spanish tourists (-37 percent), Portuguese (-15.7 percent) and Irish tourists (-12.9 percent) in the Algarve during March, compared to the same period last year, the association noted. This was made up for, to some extent, by growths in tourists from other source markets, namely the French (+ 20.5 percent) and Swedish (+ 47.3 percent) markets, which showed the highest increases.

Since the beginning of the year, the first quarter showed an average rise of 0.5 percent, although, according to AHETA, the volume of sales registered a drop of six percent over the same month of the previous year.

The association stressed that, when analysing this data, it is important to bear in mind that Easter fell in March last year, while this year it falls in April.