New numbers released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) show that the Azores are having a bumper year in terms of American tourism. So far in 2013 (January to September) the Azores have had a 30% increase in overnight stays by American hotel guests, accompanied by a rise of 12.5 % in guest numbers over the same period of 2012. Airport numbers showed the U.S. in line to have a 20% increase in passengers to the Azores from New England in 2013 as well.
SATA Airlines, Portugal's second largest carrier has strengthened air links between the Azores and the United States and Canada, with new weekly flights to Boston and Toronto. The number of weekly flights will gradually increase into the summer of 2014, when SATA will have a daily flight from Ponta Delgada to Boston and six times a week from Toronto to Ponta Delgada.
The increased service to Boston and Toronto will allow for price reductions, so more North Americans will be able to discover the Azores. This is part of SATA’s long-term strategic focus on these two markets.
This new investment will mean increase of capacity of 11% from Boston and 36% from Toronto, or respectively 12,725 and 36,165 passengers in 2014, for a total of 114,108 seats from Boston and 97,680 from Toronto per year.
Date released by the Bank of Portugal and compiled by Turismo de Portugal showed that the revenues generated by American tourists grew by 29 % in the first eight months of the year, with a peak of 68 % in June, far exceeding the growth from other markets in the sector.