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British resident and visitor numbers fall

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British resident and visitor numbers fall

Post by christabel on Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:06 am

British resident and visitor numbers fall
Updated: 23-Jul-2010


British residents are leaving Portugal in large numbers, according to the latest figures released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The annual British Behaviour Abroad report details figures from April 1 2009 to March 31 2010 and has shown that the number of British residents in Portugal has dropped from 38,000 between April 1 2008 and March 31 2009, to 30,000 this year – a fall in excess of 23 per cent.

The same report showed that visitor numbers to Portugal have also fallen dramatically, from 2,254,300 recorded last year to 1,629,000 this year, a decrease of more than 600,000 or 27 per cent.

Wendy Hallam-Hulme from Direct Transport told the Algarve Resident: “We have certainly seen an increase in “backway” removals to the UK. It used to be the older members of the community returning for health reasons but now we see young families, who perhaps only moved here four or five years ago, going back to Britain as it is no longer viable for them to stay in the Algarve.”

She added: “There are still people moving over here though, and this number has not dropped significantly in the last year. However, we have seen an increase in British residents buying everything from furniture to food from the UK and having it transported over with us, as residents compare prices between Portugal and the UK and look for better deals.”

Many enquiries

Michael Reeve, CEO of afpop, Portugal’s largest association of foreign residents, told the Algarve Resident: “Eight thousand British residents leaving Portugal in one year seems to me to be very high. It’s difficult for afpop to judge such things from a purely new member standpoint because, of course, we have people join us when they first arrive and also when they have been here for some time.

“We do not ask new members how long they have been in Portugal when they join, but it is true to say that we do still receive a lot of enquiries from people who are in the process of planning their move to Portugal or who are in the process of doing so.”

He added: “We do hear from various people that the number of expatriates here is decreasing, but with no discernable basis in any factual data. When times are hard, people need more help, not less, so the affect on our services is to make us try harder to help those who need us.”

A spokesperson from Vernon’s Real Estate in Carvoeiro told the Algarve Resident: “We haven’t noticed any real trend for British residents leaving Portugal to return to the UK. There are always a number of cases of people returning to the UK to assist family members while people over the age of 75 also often return as they prefer to receive healthcare in their home country.

“We still have enquiries from young families looking to relocate, people looking for retirement properties and also many second home buyers coming to us from the UK.”


Meanwhile, the report also made an appeal to British nationals travelling or going to live abroad, asking them to make simple preparations to minimise preventable problems.

In a separate survey, it was found that Britons spend an average of 12 Pounds Sterling at the airport on magazines and sweets, more than double the cost of a standard single trip insurance policy yet 19 per cent still travel without insurance.

British travellers also spend nearly 20 minutes longer cleaning their house before they leave than they do researching local laws and customs of the countries they are travelling to.

FCO minister Jeremy Browne said: “This report shines a light on the number of Britons who get into difficulty abroad each year. The worrying fact is that so many of these situations are preventable. A bit of preparation before you go will ensure that you get the most out of your trip without bad memories and big bills.”

The report showed that Britons needed the most assistance in Spain, with 5,283 seeking consular assistance last year while in Portugal that number was 383, not including lost and stolen passport cases

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Re: British resident and visitor numbers fall

Post by vee8 on Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:56 am

I wonder if it's because they are learning that it is not safe for children in Portugal? (with all due reverence to our Portuguese posters.)
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Re: British resident and visitor numbers fall

Post by rosemary on Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:00 am

I like the 20 minutes more spent cleaning the house! Laughing Yeah!!

Times are very hard in Spain and Portugal and even harder in the Canaries. I doubt there is a significant proportion leaving because of Madeleine. But holiday makers thinking twice and choosing not to visit because of Madeleine and the other missing children, I would say that is significant.

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