Although it seems hard to keep a positive mind frame under the current economic conditions, in Portugal, Porto's Hotel Market did seem recession proof in 2011. “The overnights growth, as well as the airport passenger traffic are valuable indicators for the performance of this market" added Gustavo Castro, the Head of Research of Colliers International, in Portugal. Indeed, it is the airport traffic the biggest factor in this remarkable performance. Apart from one or two exceptions, no other airport has grown as much over the past 5 years.

However, some threats hint this market over the short term. First, of course, the economic crisis will keep prices and occupancy from growing. On a political note, the eventual privatisation of Portugal's airlines - TAP and airport manager - ANA, will cast a few shadows over the future of the local airport. On the supply side, and although new openings have been slowing down and are expected to slow down even more, the regeneration of the central part of the city increases the level of potential supply. New, internationally driven hotel market trends should not be neglected, either.

Hostels are a recent phenomenon, but with an unbelievable increase over the past 4 years. In 2010, Porto's total supply doubled and new units kept opening in 2011 with several more in the pipeline. "These hostels start with the regeneration of an ancient building, and are generally family-owned, family-managed in way to create bonds with the guests and elevating service quality" explained Gustavo Castro.

The main question now is for how long will this market remain unaffected by the crisis. a few years ago, tourism already emerged as a local factor, regenerating an area, once dubbed as poor. Whether tourism will remain an important factor in the near future is one of the biggest challenges Porto will face in the upcoming years.

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