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Local Lodging owners may pay greater condo charges

The Government is studying a new requirement for Local Lodging that would mandate higher condominium levies for owners who engage in holiday lets. If adopted, it would collide with another bill where the condominiums would be given the power to authorise, on a case-by-case basis, the possibility of owners renting short-term to tourists. The latter proposal was made in absentia and without the governmental consent.

Tourism yields rose 17% in 2016

The aggregate tourism turnover rose 17% last year to 3,075 million euros. The number of holiday makers jumped to 19 million, an increase of 10%. By geographical distribution, the greatest concentration of tourist beds continues to be the Algarve, with one-third of the total. Lisbon accounted for almost 20%.

Local Lodging prices rise in Lisbon and stabilize in Oporto

The average cost of Local Lodging increased 4.6% in the centre of Lisbon and 0.3% in the historical neighbourhoods of Oporto in the first half of 2017 as compared to the previous six months period according to a recent study.

Tourism continues to set records

Guests in tourist accommodations increased to the highest level in 10 years during the first quarter of 2017. Madeira’s hotels recorded the strongest occupancy rate (75%), followed by Lisbon (67%) and Porto (63%).  Nationwide, foreign visitors are up 10% over a 12 month period. By nationality, the largest rise came from Brazilians (68%), Polish (40%) and Americans (34%).  Urban tourism is one of the major trends in demand. The country’s security is perceived as one of the main criteria, followed by climate, culture and cuisine.

Portugal pioneers in Local Lodging

Innovation in the regulation of local lodging has made Portugal a case study. Short term holiday letting is an integral part of the current Portuguese tourism boom. Dilapidated heritage districts in Lisbon and Oporto have a new lease on life with private investment driving much needed restoration. As with any phenomenon of rapid and disorderly growth, distortions have emerged. But this should not be a pretext to kill the chicken that lays the golden egg.

Airbnb generates more than one billion Euros in Portugal in 2016

The online hosting platform generated €1.07 billion in Portugal last year, almost half in Lisbon. Airbnb said that this figure accounts for “all the money that Airbnb guests spend during their stay as well as the amounts that hosts with ads on the platform earn in their hosting activity.”

Airbnb generates more than one billion Euros in Portugal in 2016

The online hosting platform generated €1.07 billion in Portugal last year, almost half in Lisbon. Airbnb said that this figure accounts for “all the money that Airbnb guests spend during their stay as well as the amounts that hosts with ads on the platform earn in their hosting activity.”

Hotel group leader supports Local Lodging

In an interview with the “Jornal de Negócios” and “Antena 1“, the president of the Pestana group, José Theotónio, declared that: “Airbnb, Local Lodging and hostels are all welcome. They represent competition but are necessary to build Portugal as a cosmopolitan and sustainable tourist destination.” This statement signals a significant turn-around in the tradition hostility voiced by the hotel industry towards peer-to-peer holiday lettings.

Tax Office to offer direct debit

The Tax Office (AT) is working on a system which will allow taxpayers to pay their taxes by direct debit with a simple payment order. This “Simplex” measure should be available by the end of 2017. The expectation is that the “IUC” road tax and the “IMI” property tax will be the most likely candidates for this method of payment. They are the basis  of many fines for delays due to taxpayer forgetfulness

Ambitious 10-year plan for Tourism

“Turismo de Portugal” has set ambitious goals for the coming decade, following a 17% jump in tourism in January:

  1. a) A 4% annual increase, thereby doubling overnight stays by 2027;
  2. b) Reduce seasonality by one third by increasing off-season offerings over the same period;
  3. c) Boost training and qualifications of hotel and restaurant personnel;
  4. d) Bolster national approval for tourism to 90% of the population;
  5. e) Enhance conservation and appreciation of Portugal’s cultural and national heritage;
  6. f) Strengthen competitiveness and innovation;
  7. g) Improve qualifications and inclusion of activities and residents.

Tourism already represents 17% of gross domestic product and the view is optimistic for on-going growth and improvement.

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