Tourist bookings continue to increase for the end of the year, which should be the best ever, reveals Pedro Costa Ferreira, head of the Portuguese Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (APAVT).

"No matter how many perceptions we have about a possible loss of purchasing power, political instability and so on, the truth is that bookings are continuing at the rate they have been all year, which is very good," said Pedro Costa Ferreira in statements to Lusa.

As for the reasons behind this trend at a time of loss of purchasing power, he points out to a possible change in behaviour to justify the increase in consumption.

"People are probably still travelling, but avoiding other social life options, such as dinners. We heard this from a Google manager [at last week's APAVT Congress in Porto] and I can even say more: during Black Week, the first information we have is that there were absolutely fantastic sales, never seen before," highlighted Pedro Costa Ferreira.

Even so, during the APAVT Congress, which took place in Porto between 30 November and 2 December, he said that after 2023 confirmed the recovery and "some records", "nobody would be surprised if 2024 had a slowdown" since the situation is complex.

Specifically about bookings for next year, and whether travel agencies are seeing growth, he said: "Yes, probably the best year ever," with New Year's Eve destinations breaking records.

Traditionally, the Algarve and Madeira are the top choices, but in recent years Alentejo, Lisbon, the Centre, the North and the Azores have developed alternative offers that have become increasingly attractive. As for national tourists travelling abroad, Brazil, Cape Verde, São Tomé, Cuba and Disneyland Paris are some of the most popular destinations.