The pandemic had a significant impact on the tourism sector in 2020, causing revenues to sink to 1,457 million euros.
This impact was expected from the beginning, but the numbers are even more expressive. The pandemic devastated tourism in 2020, leading to a loss of over 17 million tourists. This was reflected in overnight stays and in revenue, which sank 66.1% to 1,457 million euros, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).
The impact of the pandemic on tourism was noticeable month after month, with the sector recording losses of around 80%. However, in December, there was a “slight recovery”, INE said. In the last month of 2020, the sector registered 459,400 guests and 969,800 overnight stays, equivalent to decreases of 70.9 per cent and 72.4 per cent, below those observed in November (-76.8 per cent and -76.9 per cent, respectively).
But the effects of the pandemic were more noticeable throughout the year. There were 10.5 million tourists, 61.3% less than in 2019, in a total of 25.9 million overnight stays, 63% less compared to last year.
The INE also notes that during 2020, except for January and February, the number of establishments closed or that did not record guest movements was always higher than in 2019. April and May were the months that recorded the highest numbers (85% and 74.1%), while August and September registered the lowest (22.8% and 25.9%).
Last year, all the Portugal’s main tourist markets recorded expressive decreases of over 65%, especially the Irish (-89.5%), North American ( -87.7%) and Chinese (-82.8%) markets. The United Kingdom remained the main inbound market, “accounting for 16.3% of non-resident overnight stays, despite the 78.5% decrease compared to the previous year,” INE said.
In view of all these falls, the impact on turnover was notorious. The sector’s total revenue fell by 66.1% to 1,457 million euros, while revenue from accommodation declined by 66.3% to 1,1 billion euros.