Asked by Lusa about the forecasts for this end of the year, Bernardo Trindade began by remembering that in recent years "a very interesting dynamic" has emerged and that it constitutes "a paradigm shift", which is the fact that many people spend Christmas in hotel units.

"The majority of Portuguese people, in particular, celebrate the festivities at home, in the family home, but we have inaugurated a new practice which has been growing a little throughout the country", he told Lusa.

Although AHP only presented data for the festive season later, after consulting members through surveys, the person responsible says that the perception is that this last fortnight of the year is no exception to the recent past.

"Obviously, it leaves us very satisfied. We are confident in the quality and in the relationship we maintain with national customers. They are an important response also because, obviously, Portuguese regions have different levels of seasonality. The Algarve has from the month of November a marked seasonality that lasts until the end of the first quarter [of the following year]. And often, what happens, then, is that families today already choose to do it [depending] in hotel units, namely those that remain open in the Algarve, our main tourist region", he explained.

Still, he guarantees, this is a situation that is happening all over the country.

On Wednesday, the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA) announced that the occupancy rate per room in the region reached 44.2% in November, a value that was still 1.3 percentage points higher than that recorded in the same period of 2022 and 0.4 percentage points more than in November 2019, the year before the covid-19 pandemic.

At the end of the year and faced with the situation of inflation rates and high interest rates, the president of AHP rules out a retraction in demand, pointing out "two important effects" which are diversification in terms of markets and supply.

"What we feel is a growing diversification of international markets. Today they are more spread out due to the recognition of Portugal as a leisure destination. Therefore, we can add new markets with more strength. The American market is an excellent example of 2023, the Canadian market, the recovery of Brazil, the recovery of some European Union countries. And that's good", he says.

The tourist accommodation sector registered 7.4 million overnight stays in October, 8.5% more than in the same month of 2022, mainly due to external markets, announced the National Statistics Institute (INE) on November 30th.

The main foreign markets were the British (20% share of total non-resident overnight stays in October) and Germany (12.5%), followed by the North American market (9.9%).