The first case of coronavirus appeared in Portugal in early March, when several people were already infected by this virus. Still, this was not enough to keep tourists away from Portuguese lands, on the contrary. According to a flash estimate by the National Statistics Institute (INE), Portugal should have received 1.6 million tourists in February, 16 percent more than last year.
INE’s flash estimate also points out that all these guests were responsible for 3.9 million overnight stays, a 15.3 percent increase over last year. And here, the biggest increases happened in the country’s residents. National guests totalled 1.31 million overnight stays, an increase of 27.2 percent compared to 2019, while international guests’ overnight stays amounted to 2.54 million, up 10 percent.
These results, says INE, “were influenced by the effect of Carnival,” which this year took place in February, while last year was in March. It is also necessary to consider another calendar effect, given that February had 29 days in 2020, one more than in 2019.
In terms of nationalities, the Britons, Germans and Spaniards led in number, leaving the Danes, Chinese and Swedes among the least staying guests in national tourist accommodations. However, if we talk about growth, the focus is on guests from Spain, Canada and Brazil.