The Algarve’s tourism income was over a billion euros last year, up by 4.7% compared to 2017. The number of visitors rose from 1.5% to 4.2 million guests.
Data from the National Institute of Statistics on the region’s tourist activity, showed a slight decrease in overnight stays, down by 1%, but still registering 18.8 million.
According to João Fernandes, president of the Regional Tourism entity, "the final results are frankly positive, in a year that was very difficult for tourism in the Algarve".
"It is important to highlight that the comparison presented by the National Institute of Statistics is made in relation to 2017, the best year ever for tourism in the region, so the goals achieved in 2018 demonstrate the strong resilience of the entire structure of the sector," added Fernandes.
The Algarve contributed 30% to national tourist income, a total of €1.08 billion being rung up in tills across the region’s hotel sector.
The number of guests staying in the Algarve, at 4.2 million, represented 20% of the total for the country last year.
Faro International Airport handled close to 8.7 million passengers last year, half a percent below the 2017 figure. A positive performance from domestic passengers (+ 6.0%) and from markets such as France (+ 26.0%) and Ireland (+ 2.2%) helped cope with the lack of British, down 5.7% and the Dutch, down 6.1%.
The Algarve’s golf courses did well in 2018, with the number of rounds played topping 1.3 million, slightly lower than last year (-0.9%).