August figures for “off-scale” national tourism: INE reports

August’s figures for domestic tourism were “off scale”: a historic high of 4.2 million hotel / accommodation bookings.

The data, released today by the national statistics institute INE, shows that the Portuguese have responded en masse to the country’s call for “stays” to try to help the economy plagued by the pandemic.

Yes, overall the picture remains well below the tourism dynamism of 2019, but the golden month alone has done wonders for the struggling hospitality industry.

According to reports, August figures were up even from pre-pandemic levels: there were 22% more overnight stays this year than in 2019 and 24.2% more than in 2020 .

When you consider the rest of the year, however, the results were less than half of those obtained before the pandemic – although better than in 2020.

How the data is interpreted is really up to the industry. It’s not good, but the signs are that things are improving.

In the meantime, the Minister of the Economy Pedro Siza Vieira announced that despite the ongoing recovery, new financial support mechanisms will be put in place.

He said at a meeting organized by the Portuguese Tourism Confederation earlier this week: “We are going to launch a new support line of credit next week”.

The line will be worth 150 million euros, reports ECO, and will “strengthen” the support already in place.

It will mainly focus on medium and large enterprises, the minister said.

Brussels has also given the green light to member states continuing grant-funded support programs until June 2022.

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