Preliminary data released on January 31 by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) showcases a record-breaking year for tourism in Central Portugal. The region stood out across various

indicators, including overnight stays, guests, occupancy rates, and total revenue.

INE data reveals that Central Portugal experienced an unprecedented surge, with nearly eight million overnight stays in tourist accommodations between January and December 2023, marking a substantial 11.6% increase compared to the reference year, 2019. When compared to 2022, the rise is even more impressive, at 11.9%.

This substantial increase in overnight stays in 2023 includes both national and international visitors. Overnight stays by Portuguese residents rose significantly, reaching 4,663,421 in 2023, reflecting a notable 16.1% increase from 2019. Simultaneously, overnight stays by international visitors saw a 5.9% increase, totaling 3,302,477 stays.

It is worth noting that the figures released by INE are preliminary and may be subject to revision when the definitive data becomes available in July.

Guests and Occupancy Rates

Central Portugal also excelled in the number of guests, receiving over 4.46 million in 2023, representing an 8.5% increase from the previous best year in 2019. The net bed occupancy rate in tourist accommodations reached 33.7% in 2023, surpassing the 2019 rate of 32.8%.

While the total revenues for tourist accommodations are yet to be disclosed, the data until November 2023 already exceeded the entire revenue for 2019, reaching €432.6 million.

Vice-president of Turismo Centro de Portugal, Anabela Freitas, highlights the extremely positive preliminary numbers for 2023, emphasizing the region's strength as a premier destination offering diverse experiences and products. She attributes the success to the collective efforts of entrepreneurs, regional entities, municipalities, inter-municipal communities, associations, and partners dedicated to enhancing the appeal of Central Portugal. Photo by Rafael Tello, Wikimedia commons.