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The number of visitors coming to Portugal for a holiday continues to increase with new data showing hotel stays at a ten year long high.

The Lusa news agency reported that Portugal's hotels in the first quarter recorded their best performance in a decade, according to the first AHP Hotel Snapshot, released on Monday by the Hotels Association of Portugal (AHP).

The results were not influenced by an influx of tourists at Easter, the AHP noted, since this year it fell in April, as traditionally Easter is a time when a large amount of people choose to take a break in Portugal.

During the first three months of 2017, RevPAR (average revenue per room available) was up 13% on the same period of last year and fully 22% on the first quarter of 2007, showing that not only are there more people coming to the country but that their spending power has also increased – a positive factor for the industry as a whole.

In the quarter Portugal recorded a total of 8.8 million overnight stays in hotels and other tourist accommodation. Of that 86% was in hotels, apart-hotels or similar. The total number of guests was 3.4 million, up more than 6% on the year and 48% on 10 years earlier.

The market that grew fastest was Brazil, with 68% guests from that country than a year earlier, Poland, up 40%, and the US, up 34%.

In the quarter, Brazilians accounted for 9% of all guests in tourist accommodation, the US 4% and Poland 2%. Portugal's traditional markets such as the UK, Germany, Spain and France together accounted for 49% of all foreign guests and remain very strong markets.

The AHP report notes a 18% increase in the number of jobs in the accommodation sector, to 62,000. That is set to increase sharply given that only 11 of the 41 new hotels projected for this year have so far opened.

Portugal, and particularly the Algarve region, continues to grow in popularity with overseas visitors thanks to the combination of good weather, reasonable prices and tourist focused infrastructure.

The increase in popularity in Portugal has helped to boost not only the tourism industry but also the housing market as accommodation becomes more sought after, particularly in the most popular tourist areas of the Algarve, Lisbon and Porto. 

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