Impact surpasses the 65,000 spectators expected at weekend MotoGP in Algarve
This impact is felt in the western Algarve, but also "up to the Vilamoura area", located in the central part of the region, in the municipality of Loulé.
The Algarve Tourism Board anticipates a very high demand for the MotoGP Grand Prix of Portugal and considers that the impact of the motorbike race in the region goes beyond the 65,000 spectators expected.
Speaking to Lusa news agency, the president of the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA), João Fernandes, considered “very significant” the number of spectators expected for the inaugural race of the MotoGP World Championship, but stressed that to these visitors it is also necessary to add families who take the opportunity to spend the weekend in the south of the country.
“The expectations are really of a very high demand, because we are aiming for more than 65,000 spectators, which is very, very significant, in terms of affluence of people to the Algarve, since most of the spectators come from other regions of Portugal or abroad,” he anticipated.
João Fernandes pointed out that in the three weeks prior to the event, which takes place between Friday and Sunday at the Algarve International Racetrack, the teams were at the Portimão circuit testing their equipment, with their riders and support teams, which represents a “very relevant impact” on the region’s tourism activity.
This impact is felt in the western Algarve, but also “up to the Vilamoura area”, located in the central part of the region, in the municipality of Loulé, he noted.
“We’re talking about 65,000 people and then there are also a lot of people who, even if they’re not going to the race, come. For example, family members of fans, where one of the family members goes to the event and others come here, taking the opportunity to spend the weekend,” he said.
Demand for the region is therefore “greater than the number of spectators” of the race and “does not end at the hotels near the race track,” he added.
According to João Fernandes, the race once again has an attraction factor, which is to see Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira with a bike from a new manufacturer (Aprilia, instead of KTM) and the coincidence of the Grand Prix being the first race of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship, which allows “eager” fans to witness the race after a months-long hiatus in competition.
“We also know that MotoGP has a huge impact not only in the moment it takes place, but also because of the ability it has to publicise destinations. And, on top of that, the track – dubbed by fans as a ‘roller coaster’ – gives the Grand Prix in Portimão a special interest,” he concluded.
Speaking to Lusa, the president of the Association of Hotels and Tourism Developments of the Algarve (AHETA) considered that the race will result in hotels in the area of Lagos and Portimão to have “excellent” occupation rates and that the “impact” of the event in the sector can reach Vilamoura.
“It is this kind of event that we have to have in the low season, to guarantee an increase in occupation” in those periods, underlined Hélder Martins.
MotoGP is the premier category of the World Speed Motorcycling Championship, whose championship kicks off this weekend in Portugal.
The Moto2 and Moto3 categories are also competing.