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Hotel occupancy in the Algarve last month was at its best since the year 2000; a 17-year high.

The 17-year high registered last month follows an average room occupancy rate of 73 percent, a growth of 4.4 percent on May last year. 

Only in the year 2000 was the Algarve as busy in terms of occupancy, according to new figures released today by the region’s largest hotel group, AHETA, with British and Irish tourists driving the growth.
In related news, Portugal ended 2016 with 1,945 hotels and tourist developments, up 81 from a year earlier, according to the 12th Hotel Atlas published by the consultancy firm Deloitte, which foresees the opening of 38 new units this year.

According to the report, the number of overnight stays exceeded 53 million last year, while revenue topped €2 billion. The occupancy rate was over 63 percent. The regions with the highest occupancy rates were Madeira (77.5 percent) and Lisbon (72.5 percent). 

The capital’s region also had the highest average price per room, at €80.65. However, Madeira did better in terms of number of days per stay, with 5.39 days, against the Algarve’s 4.49 days.

All regions saw their revenues per room available (RevPAR) grow, with Lisbon once again leading with €59.18 euros, up €5.58 from 2015.

Internationally, Lisbon’s occupancy rate overtook those of several major European cities, including Rome, Madrid and Paris, although it remained below London, Amsterdam and Barcelona. In terms of RevPAR it remained below the European average.

Hotels remain the most common type of tourist accommodation, at 73 percent of the total. That is followed by tourist apartments (10 percent), apart-hotels (7 percent), rural hotels (5 percent), tourist resorts (3 percent) and pousadas - former state-owned hotels, mostly in castles and other monuments (2 percent).

“The year 2016 was unique and historic in revenues, overnight stays, but also for growth in the number of developments,” said Miguel Eiras Antunes, Deloitte’s leader of Tourism, Hospitality & Services, in a statement.

According to Deloitte, of the 38 new units it expects this year - mostly with four or five stars - 18 are in Lisbon, with nine in the North, seven in the Centre, four in the Algarve and one in the Azores.

According to Jorge Marrão, Deloitte’s real estate director, the firm foresees “ever greater interest from international investors in our country [as a] result of the increase in the profitability rates of property assets.” Tourism will, he went on to say, “continue to be strategic for our economy.”

In May, Portugal’s Hotels Association said that between now and 2018 it expects 83 new hotels to open in the country, 41 of them this year.