People sunbath on Santa Eulalia beach at Albufeira, Loule, southern Portugal on June 10, 2016. AFP / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA
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Instability and violence in the Mediterranean's former top tourist destinations are proving a boon to Portugal's Algarve region, seen as a safe haven by comparison, local businesses say.Portugal and neighboring Spain have seen foreign tourism soar as headlines proclaimed the bloody attacks elsewhere around the Mediterranean. Around 10.2 million visitors landed in the small Atlantic republic in 2015, a boost of almost 10 percent over the previous year.For the Algarve alone, that meant 2.5 million people passing through and a five billion euro ($5.5 billion) share of the 11.4 billion the country took in from tourists last year.Most years around 1.8 million British visitors land at Faro airport, the Algarve's capital – but the Association of British Travel Agents reports bookings from the U.K. are up almost a third over summer 2015's numbers.Spaniards, Germans and the French are now discovering Portugal's tucked-away treasures for themselves and could make up for a British shortfall.
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