"These are very encouraging and motivating numbers,” said "said Luís Pedro Martins, the board’s president. “We believe that with the work we are doing ... Porto and the North have all it needs to establish itself as a destination of excellence.”
According to the tourist board, the region was in July “the fastest growing destination in tourism activity in the whole of the national context". Overnight stays by residents of Portugal were up 5.9% on the year to 428,300, while those of non-residents were up 15.6% to 720,700 nights.
"This increase … is also reflected in the increase in revenue, an item where the North region has the highest percentage increase in the country," he noted.
Since the start of this year the region has seen "a trajectory of remarkable growth, with the highest growth nationally, of the order of 10.3%" for the first seven months as against the year-earlier period.
As for the average length of stay and the net occupancy rate, the North is the only region that saw improvements on those fronts, with an average of 1.99 nights, the board said. In addition, in average revenue per room available (RevPAR), the €53.30 recorded in the North in July represented the "largest increase recorded nationally".
Figures from the National Statistics Institute (INE) revealed that tourist accommodation at national level registered 2.8 million guests and 8.2 million overnight stays in July, up 5.4% and 2.2% on the year respectively.
Total revenue in July, of €537.8 million, was up 6.2% on the year, marking a slowdown from the June rate of increase of 11.8%. Revenue from this source, at €417.6 million, was up 5.1% on the year – also below June’s 12.7% increase.
Revenue per room available was €70.9 nationally (up 0.7% on the year, after a 6.9% year-on-year increase the previous month) and average income per occupied room also slowed, to €107.60, up 1.2%, following June’s 6.2% rate of increase.
Tourist accommodation saw overnight stays by residents of Portugal in July rise 2.7% on the year to 2.5 million, while non-residents stayed 5.7 million nights, up 2.0%. The vast bulk of that increase was driven by the increase in overnight stays by visitors from Brazil and Spain.