Portuguese tourism, hotel revenues grow strongly
Portugal’s?hotels?are bringing in more money this year, helped by a strong rise in the number of foreign tourists and supporting the economy’s recovery from recession after years of bailout austerity.
Overall revenue from tourism accounts for around 10 percent of Portugal’s gross domestic product.
The number of foreign tourists who stayed in Portuguese?hotels?between January and the end of the summer vacation season in August rose almost 8 percent to 5.7 million, including more than a million in August alone, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said on Monday.
Hotel receipts including local and foreign travelers rose about 5 percent in January-August to 1.36 billion euros ($1.8 billion). The number of Portuguese guests was still about 1 percent lower than a year ago due to falling disposable income.
Although the number of foreign tourists hit a record high last year, hotels took 2 percent less money than in 2011 as the economic crisis forced them to cut prices to attract customers. This year’s increase in revenues has so far offset last year’s fall.
Despite signs of economic recovery after years of tax hikes and spending cuts under a bailout programme from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, Portugal’s GDP is still projected to shrink 1.8 percent this year before returning to feeble annual growth in 2014.