In 2020, tourism in Portugal was strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, measures to combat the pandemic forced the temporary closure of some establishments. On the other hand, several restrictions were applied to mobility, with an impact on the demand both of residents in Portugal and of residents in the main inbound markets. Additionally, it is natural that, as a precaution, pretending to reduce the risk of infection, many intentions to seek services in the tourist activity in 2020 have not been materialized.
In 2020, estimations show that the number of non-resident tourists arriving in Portugal reached 6.5 million, corresponding to a decrease of 73.7% compared to 2019 (growth of 7.9% in 2019). Spain remained the main inbound market (share of 28.5%), having registered a decrease of 70.5% in 2020.
Considering the whole set of means of accommodation, in 2020 there were 11.7 million guests and 30.3 million overnight stays, corresponding to decreases of 60.4% and 61.1%, respectively (+7.4% and +4.3%, in the same order, in 2019).
The tourist accommodation sector (hotels, local accommodation, and rural/lodging tourism) registered 10.4 million guests (-61.6%) and 25.8 million overnight stays (-63.2%), the total revenue amounted to EUR 1.4 billion (-66.3%) and the revenue from accommodation was EUR 1.1 billion (-66.7%).
The reduction in the turnover of the tourist activity was not only due to a quantity effect. There was also a general reduction in prices. It should also be noted that, according to the Survey on guest stays in hotel establishments and other accommodations, in tourist accommodation establishments, the average revenue per overnight stay decreased by 9.4% and reached EUR 41.7 (+3.2% in 2019).
In 2020, residents in Portugal made a total of 14.4 million tourism trips, corresponding to a decrease of 41.1% (+10.8% in 2019). In this year, 39.0% of the resident population in Portugal have made at least one tourist trip outside their usual environment, which represented a decrease of 14.1 p.p. compared to 2019, corresponding to 4.0 million individuals (1.4 million fewer tourists compared to 2019).
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