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Horta ,  February 15, 2017

Azores were the national region with the highest tourism growth in 2016, says Marta Guerreiro

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism expressed today her satisfaction with the growth of the tourism sector in the Azores in 2016, not only as a record year on all the islands, but also for being the national region where overnight stays register the strongest growth, with an increase of 21% over the same period of time.
"The month of December registered 55,000 overnight stays in the Region, that is, a growth over 2% in this month. In 2016, there were over 1.5 million overnight stays, which makes us very happy," Marta Guerreiro said, commenting on the data released today by the Regional Statistical Service and the National Statistics Institute.
Domestic tourists account for 41% of overnight stays in the Azores and the foreign market accounts for the remaining 59%, namely the USA and Spain. Both markets are "very significant" and are "clearly identified" in the Strategic and Marketing Plan of the Azores Tourism.
Speaking to journalists, the Secretary for Tourism stressed that the investment will mainly focus on the domestic market, but it will also be directed to the foreign market, such as Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands; special emphasis will be given to the USA and Spain.
For Marta Guerreiro, the USA and Canada are "very important markets to be develop," pointing out that they, as the Spanish market, are not served by low cost airlines, unlike Mainland Portugal; however, they have registered a very significant growth.
Also in terms of overnight stays between January and December 2016, the variations by island are all "very significant and above two-digit figures," the Regional Secretary mentioned, highlighting the growth registered on Terceira (63.4%), Corvo (42.7%) and Graciosa (24.1%) over the same period in 2015.
"The focus on Terceira is quite significant and is associated with the growth of the Spanish and North American markets, which, besides the German market, are the foreign markets with the greatest weight in percentage terms," said Marta Guerreiro.
Regarding the challenges for 2017, the priorities are the growth in the high season, the mitigation of seasonality and the promotion of quality. The latter should be "properly sustained and duly recognised," through the training of young people and the retraining of those already in the sector for the areas of catering, table and bar waiting, kitchen, nature activities, languages and heritage.
"It is important to note that, in terms of overall revenue, we have managed to exceed the barrier of 70 million Euros in 2016," an increase of 30% over the previous year, stressed the Regional Secretary.
Marta Guerreiro restated that there is still work to do, but assured that "massification is not a risk" to the Azores, because "we are working to assess the impact of tourism on the places visited by tourists."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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