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      4 The Portugal News • 22 Sep 2018                         Front Page Story


       Staycations rescue Algarve tourism                                                                                  N N N N N  CARRIE-MARIE

                                                                                                                                    BRATLEY

       In comparison to July 2017, the Algarve had fewer tourists in July this year, and in terms of ‘bums in beds’ has been on a
       downwards trend for several months. However, a growing number of nationals who chose to stay-cate (holiday in their
       home country) this year went some way towards making up for a dwindling foreign market.

             atest available figures  rate in the Algarve this July was  region were up on last year’s  number of foreign tourists visiting  have been swapping holidays
             revealed by the        84 percent, down 1.6 percent on  figures.                 the region are down.         abroad for a holiday at home for
             Portuguese Hotel       the same month of 2017.      The Algarve’s hotels generated  Algarve hotels registered 542,000  a while now, as cumulatively,
      LAssociation (AHP) show       According to the AHP’s Tourism  total revenue in July 2018 of  guests and close to 2.7 million  over the first seven months of the
      that hotels in the Algarve were not  Monitors, a data collection tool  186.7 million euros; 144.4  overnight stays in July, which is  year, the number of overnight
      quite as full this July as last July,  for the national hotel industry  million of which came from room  down 2.8 percent and 3.2  stays by so-called ‘staycationers’
      and occupancy rates have been  carried out monthly by the  fees. This represents a year-on-  percent, respectively, on 2017.  grew by 6.6 percent on last year.
      on a slump for six months.    Portuguese Hotel Association,  year increase of 3.2 percent and  However, Portuguese tourists’  This represents an extra
      The AHP painted a less-than-rosy  nationally, in July Portugal’s  1.9 percent, respectively, and is  overnight stays were up by 5.9  135,000 overnight stays for
      picture, saying: “In terms of  hotels were four fifths full, with an  the most positive indicator for the  percent this year, when  Portugal’s domestic tourism
      occupancy rates, the Algarve has  average room occupancy rate of  region in terms of monthly  compared to July last year, a shift  market.
      been receding since February. In  80 percent.              information available on the  the INE highlighted and has been  But while the domestic market
      July 2017, there was also a slight  Notwithstanding a noticeable  tourist activity, released this week  widely hailed as having to some  has been growing, overnight
      decrease compared to the same  drop in foreign visitors to the  by the National Statistics Institute  extent made up for a lack of  stays in the Algarve by non-
      month of 2016”.               Algarve, both revenue and the  (INE), given that both overnight  foreign visitors.     residents have been receding,
      The average room occupancy    number of national tourists to that  stays in the Algarve and the  And it seems national residents  having fallen by 6.5 percent in
                                                                                                                           July and 4.5 percent since the
                                                                                                                           beginning of the year (down by
      Taxis in nationwide protest                                                                                          386,000 overnight stays).
                                                                                                                           This follows a general trend
                                                                                                                           flagged by the INE for the entire
       Taxis this week staged a                                                                                            country.
       Taxis this week staged a
       Taxis this week staged a
       Taxis this week staged a
       Taxis this week staged a
       nationwide protest against a                                                                                        Since the beginning of 2018, the
       nationwide protest against a
       nationwide protest against a
       nationwide protest against a
       nationwide protest against a
       new law that regulates                                                                                              Algarve has accumulated total
       new law that regulates
       new law that regulates
       new law that regulates
       new law that regulates
       electronic transport platforms
       electronic transport platforms                                                                                      revenue of €569 million (up 4.6
       electronic transport platforms
       electronic transport platforms
       electronic transport platforms
                                                                                                                           percent), more than 10.4 million
       such as Uber and Cabify.
       such as Uber and Cabify.
       such as Uber and Cabify.
       such as Uber and Cabify.
       such as Uber and Cabify.                                                                                            overnight stays (down 2.3
                                                                                                                           percent) and close to 2.4 million
        According to a decree signed off by                                                                                guests (down 0.3 percent).
      President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa ,                                                                                  The average length of a holiday in
      new rules regulating these platforms                                                                                 Portugal in July was 4.95 nights.
      will come into effect as from November.                                                                              In related news, accommodation
        The protests were staged in Lisbon,                                                                                platform Airbnb registered
      Porto and Faro. Taxis in the Algarve                                                                                 almost 1.4 million guests who
      capital gathered along the EN125                                                                                     visited Portugal this summer. The
      national road leading to and from the                                                                                Portuguese capital, Lisbon, the
      Faro International Airport.                                                                                          northern city of Porto and the
        In Lisbon, scores of taxis gathered in                                                                             western Algarve city of Lagos
      Praça dos Restauradores, where they                                                                                  topped the ranking of most
      handed out black T-shirts saying                                                                                     popular Airbnb destinations in
      “#Somos taxis” (We are taxis).                                                                                       Portugal.
        One of the taxi drivers’ main                                                                                      The figures are 18 percent up on
      complaints is the “fact that the new                                                                                 last summer, and, according to
      platform regulation does not demand a                                                                                the platform, Portugal is still
      minimum number of cars per                                                                                           among the most popular
      municipality or region as is the case                                                                                destinations in Europe for
      with taxis.”                       Taxi drivers gather in downtown Lisbon during the national demonstration. (Photo EPA/Miguel A. Lopes)  travellers from all over the world.
                                         Taxi drivers gather in downtown Lisbon during the national demonstration. (Photo EPA/Miguel A. Lopes)
                                         Taxi drivers gather in downtown Lisbon during the national demonstration. (Photo EPA/Miguel A. Lopes)
                                         Taxi drivers gather in downtown Lisbon during the national demonstration. (Photo EPA/Miguel A. Lopes)
                                         Taxi drivers gather in downtown Lisbon during the national demonstration. (Photo EPA/Miguel A. Lopes)
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