“It is not a question of the threat but of fairness. The number of beds in short-term lets surpassed the tourist accommodation industry a long time ago,” the association’s executive director, Cristina Siza Vieira, said during the 14th International Tourism Forum in Vila Nova de Gaia.

“At the moment, it is at least three times more, and [we] need to monitor this.”

According to Vieira, situations such as “whole buildings with short-term lets, lodging establishments with 30 users or hostels are much closer to the reality of tourism enterprises – very important in the economy of the country, not only during the crisis but still today because they respond to a specific demand.”

According to the data released by the association, there are currently more than 84,700 records of short-term lets and multiplying this number by an average of ten beds results in “more than 800,000 beds,” compared to 200,000 in hotels.

She recalled that short-term lets have “absorbed a series of extinct categories” such as motels and inns.

Vieira added that with the analysis of tourism in Portugal, the main constraint to the business is the “scarcity of human resources,” which she said is happening “for the first time.”