Portugal breaks records by receiving more than 20 million tourists in 2017

  • ECO News
  • 14 February 2018

Touristic activity ended last year with a record, surpassing the 20 million guests' threshold for the first time. Even so, the average stay decreased.

The Portuguese tourism broke records in 2017. Portugal received 20.6 million guests last year, an 8.9% in comparison to 2016. The preliminary numbers disclosed this Wednesday by Statistics Portugal (INE) show a higher growth rhythm from companies than from guests.

According to INE, hotel businesses registered 20,641,900 guests, an unprecedented amount. Overnight stays also increased by 7.4% in comparison to 2016, with 57,493.000 nights. Even so, tourists stayed in the country for shorter amounts of time, with the average stay falling 1.4% in comparison to the previous years — which equals 2.79 nights.

The total income from the hotel business moved a much higher pace than guests’, meaning that each guest is paying more per stay. Guests spent 3.9 billion euros, a 16.6% increase in comparison to 2016. As for businesses, there was an 18.3% acceleration to 2.4 billion euros, one more percentage point than in 2016.

Evolution of the number of guests in Portugal (2005-2017)

Source: INE

When looking at December, the number of guests and overnight stays also increased in comparison to the homologous period, with 11.1% and 9.8% variations, respectively. The average stay suffered a less steep plunge, of 1.2% (1.4% in November), while total revenue and revenue from accommodation grew 18.1% and 21.1%, respectively.

August was the month that highly influenced this record — it was also the best month ever –, with 2.4 million guests staying in Portuguese territory.