MotoGP, Portugal Masters have ‘enormous media impact’, economic benefits for Algarve

  • Lusa
  • 2 November 2021

The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve will host for the second time this year a race of the World Speed Motorcycle Championship and the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course the Portugal Masters.

The head of the Algarve Tourist Board said Tuesday that the region will benefit from an “enormous media impact” from the MotoGP Grand Prix and the Portugal Masters, which will bring between 90,000 and 120,000 overnight stays.

The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portimão, will host for the second time this year a race of the World Speed Motorcycle Championship and the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, in Vilamoura, the 15th edition of the Portugal Masters, the only Portuguese event of the European Golf Tour.

Speaking to the Lusa agency, João Fernandes highlighted the importance of major sporting events for the promotion of the region and for tourism activity in the low season.

“MotoGP, according to data from Dorna [the race organization], has an enormous media impact. Through television alone, it reaches 428 million homes. Then, at the level of websites, applications and social networks, it has 48 million followers/subscribers”, quantified the President of the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA).

João Fernandes also highlighted the fact that the MotoGP can now count on spectators in the stands, after the lifting of restrictions imposed due to the pandemic which benefits the region’s accommodation units.

“We expect to have around 60,000 spectators, which will allow us to have between 90,000 and 120,000 overnight stays in the region, during the low season,” he estimated, and also estimated an economic impact in the region of around 40 million euros, “considering direct consumption, spending with local suppliers and the indirect impact.

João Fernandes said that this Grand Prix also has “the special interest of seeing [Portuguese rider] Miguel Oliveira [of KTM], finally, live, with public, in Portugal” and of being “the last opportunity to see Italian Valentino Rossi” competing, after the seven times world champion announced the end of his career.

“In this period we also have the Portugal Masters, in Vilamoura, and, therefore, we have here major events generating additional demand for the region in the low season.”

For Elidérico Viegas, leader of the largest association of hoteliers in the Algarve, events such as the MotoGP and Formula 1 World Championships, or the European golf circuit “should be guaranteed to take place regularly in the Algarve, for a certain number of years, so that they can be institutionalised in the European and world calendars”.

In this way, these events could “become part of the region’s offer”, becoming an “annual factor of attraction and offer for tourism in the Algarve”.

He predicts that the 17th and penultimate round of the MotoGP World Championship, between Friday and Sunday, “with no limits on the number of spectators, could attract many people from various countries, with substantial effects on the occupancy of hotels and tourist resorts that are in the area of influence of the circuit, particularly in the areas of Portimão, Alvor and Lagos.