Portugal Summer Tourist Numbers Up
The number of foreign tourists staying in Portuguese hotels jumped more than 12 percent in the three summer months, helping to drive hotel revenues almost 10 percent higher from a year earlier, official data showed on Thursday.
The data released by the National Statistics Agency is good news for the heavily indebted country's economy, which is mired in a recession as the government is implementing tough austerity measures under a EUR€78 billion EU/IMF bailout.
Revenue from tourism, including hotels, accounts for more than 10 percent of the Iberian country's gross domestic product.
The institute's data showed that between June and August -- when most visitors come to Portugal -- hotel revenues rose to EUR€737 million while over 2.6 million foreign tourists stayed in the country's hotels.
Total hotel revenues in the first eight months of the year rose more than 7 percent to EUR€1.34 billion and the total number of customers, including foreign and local visitors, rose over 6 percent to 9.8 million. Foreigners accounted for just over a half of that number.
Last year, the number of foreign tourists rose 6 percent, recovering most of 2009's 8 percent fall, while hotel revenues increased 3 percent after a 10 percent slide the previous year.