With more than three million overnight stays, 2022 was the year in which the Azores archipelago received the most visitors. It is now preparing to reinforce its bet on North American tourists.
When visiting the Visit Azores space at Turismo de Lisboa, you are literally traveling through the islands of the Atlantic Ocean and living the island life.
From cheeses from various islands to the inevitable Gin Bitter, from performances by Azorean artists to gastronomic events, the presence at the fair is intended to ensure that those who visit it “come to experience the Azores”, as recalled by Carlos Moraes, outgoing president of the Association for the Promotion of Destinations .
With the elections approaching at Visit Açores and after the return of the regional government to the federation, Carlos Moraes makes a happy assessment of his four years in office.
He undertook an undertaking in a critical financial situation, saw the government abandon ship and faced an epidemic that, he admits, was saved by national tourism.
“The national market is no longer able to account for 50% of overnight stays, but it has always been our priority. It played a very important role during the pandemic, not recovering economically, but it helped to feed the sector and revive hope”, he says the admin.
By 2022, 1.014 million tourists and 3.2 million overnight stays had arrived in the archipelago (+65.7% compared to 2021 and 6.8% more compared to the pre-pandemic period, in 2019, with foreigners increasing by 149.4 %, against 9.4% of the Portuguese). a “significant” increase in Revenues to 145.8 million euros (+87.6% compared to 2021 and +24.5% compared to 2019).
The success of the Azores is largely due to the liberalization of airspace in 2015. Low cost came and more foreign companies arrived, and recently, with the increase in flights, the big ones arrived, such as British or United. “It would have been unimaginable a few years ago.”
The year 2022 saw the number of air connections to the Autonomous Region of the Azores triple compared to 2021. The Frankfurt – Ponta Delgada (Lufthansa), Geneva – Ponta Delgada (Switzerland) and Madrid – Ponta Delgada (Iberia) lines, which operated until now. Added links London – Ponta Delgada (British Airways), London – Terceira (British Airways), Paris – Ponta Delgada (Transavia), Amsterdam – Ponta Delgada (Transavia), Zurich – Ponta Delgada (Transavia) (Edelweiss) and New York – Ponta Delgada (United Airlines)”, reported VisitAzores a few days ago.
United Airlines will resume daily flights to and from New York from May through September, following last year’s successful test run. At the same time, SATA flies throughout the year to Boston, New York and Toronto. The focus on tourism in North America is justified because it is what brings most of the economic gains to the archipelago, explains Carlos Morris, who believes that this market should soon surpass the German market, which is currently the largest among foreigners in a destination elected in 2022. The best in adventure tourism by the World Travel Awards.