Alentejo tourism smashes previous records

Alentejo tourism smashes previous records

In 2010 the Alentejo recorded its best ever year for tourism, smashing its previous ‘best ever’ record which was documented the year before, in 2009, with a rise of 6.7 percent in nights spent in the region.

Despite the ongoing worldwide economic crisis, last year the Alentejo registered its best results to date in terms of the amount of people spending a night in that region.

“These two years in which we have achieved our best tourist results ever were years of international and national economic crisis, but nonetheless, the Alentejo had this result”, said António Ceia da Silva, head of the Alentejo Regional Tourism Entity (ERT).

Data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed that, in 2010, the number of nights spent by tourists in regional hotel accommodation grew by 6.7 percent in relation to the year before, to a total of 1.179 million overnight stays.

The INE further showed that, last December, the Alentejo was the Portuguese region that registered the highest number of overnight stays, with an increase of 9.4 percent on December 2009, to a total of 65,100 stays.

In terms of revenue, the region documented a total growth of five percent.

These results were described by the head of the ERT as “unprecedented” and as “having the best year ever, for two consecutive years, very important for the region’s tourism and for the affirmation of the region as a destination of quality and excellence”.

Ceia da Silva also praised the work done by regional businesses and town halls.

He highlighted that the Alentejo registered the second biggest growth in the country, after Lisbon.

In his opinion the results are a clear sign that the efforts being made by the tourism board in promoting the region are paying off. But, he stressed, “We will not rest because of the results. We are conscious that we must fight to maintain the results that we have achieved the past two years, which will be difficult.”