Foreign tourists more than double in 2022, still 10% lower than 2019

  • Lusa
  • 6 July 2023

The Spanish market remained "the main issuing market for international tourists (share of 25.8%), having grown 97.4% compared to the previous year."

Portugal welcomed 22.3 million non-resident tourists in 2022, a growth of 131.4% compared to 2021 but 9.6% below the 24.6 million tourists welcomed in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, the INE announced on Thursday.

“After two years in which the tourism sector was strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022 was significantly marked by the return of foreign tourists to Portugal, approaching the record values of 2019 in the main indicators,” said Statistics Portugal (INE) in the ‘Tourism Statistics 2022’ report.

According to the statistical institute, total income at tourist accommodation establishments was €5b billion, 115.2% higher than the previous year, while room rates were €3.8bn, following a 117.3% rise.

In relation to 2019, these indicators showed rises of 16.7% and 17.9%, respectively, INE indicates.

The document noted that the Spanish market remained “the main issuing market for international tourists (share of 25.8%), having grown 97.4% compared to the previous year.”

The French market continued in second place, with a 13.3% share and a growth of 91.1%, while the United Kingdom completed the podium of outbound tourists, with 13.2% of the total and a 186.8% increase.

Considering the generality of the means of tourist accommodation (hotels, tourism in rural areas/housing, local accommodation, camping and holiday camps and youth hostels), in 2022, there were 28.9 million guests and 77.2 million overnight stays, translating into increases of 80.7% and 81.1%, respectively (+36.9% and +40.7%, in the same order, in 2021), “staying slightly below the levels of 2019 (-2.2% and -0.8%, respectively)”.

As of 31 July 2022, 7,431 establishments were in business with guest movement, an increase of 13.1% compared to the previous year and 3.9% compared to 2019.

Tourist accommodation establishments concentrated 91.9% of guests and 90.3% of overnight stays, followed by campsites (7.0% and 8.8%, respectively) and holiday campsites and youth hostels (1.1% and 0.9% in the same order).

The domestic market added 27.5 million overnight stays in 2022, equivalent to 35.6% of the total, rising 22.2% and exceeding the 2019 figures by 5.3%.

Non-resident overnight stays, meanwhile, remained below 2019 figures (-3.9%), despite a 146.9% increase to 49.7 million.

All regions recorded increases in the numbers of overnight stays, with highlights for the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (121.1%), the Autonomous Region of Madeira (90.9%) and the North (86.6%), while Alentejo and the Centre had the smallest increases (29.8% and 55.5%, respectively).

Compared to 2019, there were “increases in Madeira (12.3%), the North (7.4%), Azores (6.6%) and Alentejo (1.5%), while in the Algarve, Lisbon and the Centre there were decreases of 7.7%, 3.8% and 1.3%, respectively,” the INE added.

The average revenue per available room (RevPAR) was €74.00 in 2022, compared to €32.60 in 2021 and €49.40 in 2019, while the average revenue per occupied room (ADR) reached 103.6 euros (88.2 euros in 20221 and 89.2 euros in 2019).

The average stay remained at 2.67 nights, falling by 6.2% among residents and 3.9% in non-residents in 2022 compared to 2021. Compared to 2019, the rise was 0.03 percentage points.

According to data released today by INE and based on the ‘Resident Travel Survey’, last year, 47.7% of the resident population in Portugal made at least one tourist trip, which represented an increase of 3.7 percentage points compared to 2021, corresponding to 4.9 million individuals. Compared to 2019, there was a deficit of 547,300 tourists.

In total, in 2022, residents in Portugal made 22.6 million tourist trips, an increase of 29.2% compared to the previous year but still down (-7.5%) compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Domestic trips increased by 21.0% (-6.5% compared to 2019) to 20.0 million (88.3% of the total, 94.2% in 2021 and 87.3% in 2019), while trips abroad “gained representativeness” (11.7%, +6.0 p.p. compared to 2021; -0.9 p.p. compared to 2019) by reaching 2.7 million (+162.5%, -14.3% compared to 2019).

Tourist trips by residents generated more than 94.6 million overnight stays in 2022 (+14.5% compared to 2021, -4.6% compared to 2019), with the majority occurring in Portugal (78.4% of the total, 88.5% in 2021 and 77.6% in 2019).

In 2022, the gross remuneration per worker in service in accommodation activities stood at €1,165, up €50 compared to 2021, but €247 lower than in the economy as a whole.

The sector has around 8,500 companies and 81,900 workers.