“In 2023, the total number of overnight stays was 3.8 million, representing an increase of 15.1% compared to the previous year. Regarding guests, the total number was 1.2 million, 14.8% higher than in 2022. This year, the average stay was 3.18 days”, reads the tourist activity report.

According to data available on the SREA website, consulted by Lusa, this is the highest value since records began (2001).

The total number of overnight stays in 2022 had already surpassed the highest value until then, seen in 2019, before the covid-19 pandemic, which affected the sector in the following two years.

The increase in 2023 was higher than that seen in the country, which presented an “increase compared to the previous year of 10.7%”.

The region recorded, however, a reduction in overnight stays in tourist accommodation in the last month of the year.

“In December, in all tourist accommodation establishments (hotels, apartment hotels, tourist apartments, guesthouses, local accommodation units and rural tourism units) in the Azores, 120.6 thousand overnight stays were registered, a value lower by 5 .4% compared to the same month”, says the SREA.

The decline this month goes against the national trend, as Portugal presented “a positive year-on-year variation of 8.2%”.

External markets registered 55.7 thousand overnight stays (46.2%), 0.5% less than in the same period last year.

Among these, the United States of America stood out as the main source market, with 10.4 thousand overnight stays (18.7% of overnight stays from residents abroad) and a year-on-year growth of 19.5%.

Spain followed, with 9.3 thousand overnight stays (16.8%), although it registered a negative year-on-year variation of 0.4%, and Germany with 8.6 thousand overnight stays (15.4%), also with a year-on-year decrease of 1.5%.

Canada was the market that grew the most compared to December 2022 (38%), followed by Norway (33.6%).

Sweden (-48.7%), Denmark (-46.0%) and the Netherlands (-43.0%) recorded the largest year-on-year decreases.

The hotel sector accounted for 64% of all overnight stays (77.2 thousand) in December, followed by local accommodation, with 32.9% (39.7 thousand), and tourism in rural areas, with 3% (3 .7 thousand).