According to a Sapo news report, last year was the best ever for tourism in the region, which stood out in several indicators, such as the number of overnight stays and guests, occupancy rate and total revenue.

INE data show that Central Portugal received almost eight million overnight stays in tourist accommodation between January and December 2023 – more specifically, 7,965,898. This figure, never before reached by the region, represents a significant increase of 11.6 percent compared to 2019, which was the reference year in tourism activity in Central Portugal. If we compare it to 2022, the rise is even more impressive, in the order of 11.9 percent.

This large increase in overnight stays in 2023 in the region was seen both in the overnight stays of national visitors and those arriving from outside the country. Overnight stays from residents in Portugal rose significantly: there had been 4,016,888 in 2019 and preliminary figures for 2023 point to 4,663,421. An increase of 16.1 percent, shows that the territory of Central Portugal attracts more and more visitors from other national regions.

At the same time, overnight stays from international visitors continued to increase. Preliminary figures for 2023 indicate an increase of 5.9% compared to 2019, totalling 3,302,477 overnight stays.

In addition, the figures revealed today may be revised upwards when the preliminary data from INE becomes definitive in July.

Occupancy rate

The region's positive figures are also shown in the number of guests indicator. In total, Central Portugal received more than 4.46 million guests in 2023, 349 thousand more than in 2019, the best year so far. That is, in 2023, the region was visited by 8.5% more guests.

Another indicator of the great dynamics of tourism in the region is the net bed occupancy rate in tourist accommodation establishments, which expresses the percentage of beds occupied during the year. In 2023, this rate reached 33.7%, compared to 32.8% in 2019.

The data revealed today by INE do not yet include the total revenues in tourist accommodation establishments, missing the figures for December. However, by November, revenues had already exceeded the total for the year 2019: 432.6 million euros, from January to November 2023; and 355.4 million in all of 2019.

It should be remembered, that all the numbers for 2023 are still preliminary and may sin by default.

"The preliminary numbers for 2023 are extremely positive for Central Portugal. This may have been the year in which the region reached the historic milestone of 8 million overnight stays and 4.5 million guests, or it was very close to doing so. These are very encouraging data, which demonstrate the great strength of tourism activity in the territory and show that the Center of Portugal is a destination of excellence, which offers a diversity of experiences and tourist products for all tastes and preferences", highlights the vice-president of Turismo Centro de Portugal, Anabela Freitas. .

"These promising results are due to the great effort of the region's entrepreneurs, who daily find new ways to overcome challenges, presenting new tourism products and improving existing ones. Congratulations are also due to the entire team of the Regional Tourism Entity, the municipalities, the inter-municipal communities, the associations and other partners, who together discover new ways to increase the attractiveness of the Center of Portugal", he concludes.