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Tourism rates in the Algarve were back up to levels seen in 2000, before the global economic crash, signifying the return to success for the region in the sector.

According to the Association of Hotels and Tourism Businesses of the Algarve (AHETA), the average occupancy rate in hotels and tourist accommodation during 2017 was at 65.5%

Tourism rates in the Algarve were back up to levels seen in 2000, before the global economic crash, signifying the return to success for the region in the sector.

According to the Association of Hotels and Tourism Businesses of the Algarve (AHETA), the average occupancy rate in hotels and tourist accommodation during 2017 was at 65.5%.  This rate is taken throughout the entire year and represents an increase of some 9.7% when compared to the same period in 2016.  It is also the highest average occupancy rate registered in the Algarve for a single year since 2000. 

Local housing was seen as one of the major contributing factors in pushing the increase.  In this area of apartments and rooms, usually owned by private individuals for holiday rentals, the growth in the number of visitors choosing to stay in the Algarve in this form of accommodation grew "exponentially". 

AHETA has found during 2017 that the total number of registered local housing holiday accommodation offers is now at around 118,000 – however they state that this number continues to grow at "a truly remarkable rate of more than 2,000 beds each month". 

During 2017, the official figures reported for tourism in the Algarve registered 4.2 million tourists, of which 1.1 million were Portuguese, leading to the generation of some 20 million overnight stays. 

While the popularity of other areas of Portugal continues to grow with tourists, the Algarve is still the prime region for tourism, accounting for 7.1 million tourists and 35.7 million overnight stays during 2017.  AHETA states that these numbers indicate that the "Algarve is the largest and most important national tourism region."  This statement is highlighted by the 15 billion euros in revenue tourism in the Algarve generates for the country as a whole. 

According to AHETA, the excellent results achieved over the year are due in particular to the increase in demand by the German market (+17.8%) and Irish visitors (+6.1%).  This helped to offset the decline in the number of visitors from Britain which was down by 8.6% on the year. 

Other areas of success for the Algarve during 2017 were found in the golfing industry where the number of rounds was up by 5.3% in comparison to 2016 – this took the total number of rounds in the Algarve for the year up to a huge 1.3 million. 

Revenue per available room was also up in the Algarve by 12% to 53 euros, with gross revenue resulting from the billing amount accounting for more than one billion euros, of which about 760 million euros relate to accommodation. 

Experts predict that the positive figures are set to increase during 2018 for the Algarve but warn that there is a need to train further numbers of professionals in the industry to meet the growing demand from customers.

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