Algarve Tourism will participate, next week, in an event with dozens of North American tour operators to make them aware of the diversity and authenticity of the offer of the largest Portuguese tourist destination, where visitors from the USA have shown an increasing importance. This is just the next step in a set of actions included in a specific strategy for the United States and Canadian markets, in order to maximize the benefits of increasing the number of flights connecting the destination to these markets. In total, around 200 North Americans from various geographic origins will come to Portugal to discover the Algarve.

Anticipating the continuation of the significant expansion of North American interest in the region, Turismo do Algarve outlined ten and a half actions to be carried out throughout 2024, which will include field visits with tour operators, journalists and influencers from that country.

The growing interest of North Americans in the Algarve is evident in the increase in the number of tourists. In 2023, these were responsible for more than 480 thousand overnight stays at the destination, which corresponded to an increase of 24.1% compared to 2022 and a growth of 70.3% compared to 2019. With regard to the number of guests in 2023, a figure close to 180 thousand was reached, 27.3% more than in 2022 and 68% more compared to 2019.

“The USA is already the seventh most important foreign market in the region. Visitors to this country, together with those from Canada, look for, and find, in the Algarve, some of the best golf courses and beaches in Europe, at the westernmost point of our continent, less than 7 hours’ drive from the east coast of those countries. . The actions developed by Turismo do Algarve aim to enhance the destination’s notoriety in its many aspects appreciated in the USA and Canada, which also include gastronomy, oenology and nature activities”.

Given the significant increase in demand from the North American market for the Algarve, which has been occurring since the pandemic, Algarve Tourism wants to capitalize on this growing interest. In this sense, the new strategic plan includes the reinforcement of the organization of promotional actions in this market, during the coming months, as a way of encouraging a greater number of visits to the region and an important contribution to ensuring the viability and even the extension of future routes.

Despite the recently announced postponement of the start of United Airlines operations in Faro to the summer of 2025, the increase in frequencies of the Canadian company Air Transat to the Algarve capital and the growth in demand for indirect connections to the Algarve, which has been register, confirm the trend of greater interest in the destination and bring good prospects for strengthening the relationship between North American tourists and the Algarve.

“The plan we developed obviously included a series of actions around the launch of the United Airlines route to Faro, but it doesn’t end there. This change in plans does not affect our strategy for attracting tourists from the USA. There are a series of other opportunities that we are exploring and that will also have an impact on this market”, explains André Gomes, president of Turismo do Algarve. “From the conversations we have had with United Airlines, we note that the airline’s enthusiasm for adding the Algarve to its portfolio of destinations remains”, he says.

It should be remembered that the delay in launching the first direct flight between the USA and Algarve resulted from the suspension of some certification activities carried out by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – the regulatory body for North American aeronautics -, which forced United Airlines to postpone the launch of some of its new routes, including the connection to Faro. Also postponed until the end of the year were several actions associated with the launch of the first direct route between the USA and the Algarve, which were scheduled for April and May. Among these initiatives is the launch of a digital campaign to promote the destination and the organization of several press visits aimed at journalists from leading publications. This initiative will now begin at a stage close to the inauguration of the Newark-Faro route, rescheduled for 2025.