The purpose of this paper is to study the monthly seasonality structure of demand
in the hotel industry in continental Portugal before the outbreak of the COVID-19
pandemic in 2020. The tourism sector accounts for more than 10% of Portugal’s GDP,
as well as being a key factor for regional development and employment. Understanding
the seasonality structure of the hotel sector provides useful insight about business
viability and aids operational decisions, namely concerning the post-pandemic recovery.
Therefore, we analyze time-series data collected from Statistics Portugal, concerning
net bed occupancy rates for continental Portugal, as well as according to region and
hotel category, for the pre-pandemic period between 2014 and 2019. This allows us to
identify the seasonal peaks according to region and compare the differences in demand
for hotels according to hotel category. We also analyze the relationship between the
seasonality coefficients and the average income per night (room rate).
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