Monte Gordo Sand Experience took 20 thousand people to VRSA

Municipality says that the first edition brought high economic returns to the municipality

The sporting test Monte Gordo Sand Experience was “a success” and brought together more than 20 thousand people in Vila Real de Santo António on the 18th and 19th of November, the Municipality said today. 

For Mayor Álvaro Araújo, the test was a “success” and proved to be a “winning bet”.

«We had hotels and restaurants with high occupancy, we had our businesses working and, above all, we guaranteed the objective of bringing a lot of people to our municipality at this time, which is already low season for tourism. I think we are all to be congratulated on the success achieved, it was a very well contested race».

«Preliminary data provided by several local economic agents to the municipality point to a high number of overnight stays in the municipality's hotels and a very significant turnover in the restaurant sector», continues the mayor.

In a note, the VRSA Chamber recalls that, according to data from the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), in the months of September and October, the tourist area of Monte Gordo and Vila Real de Santo António had already recorded the biggest increases compared to the same period of the previous year, with growth of +9,9% and +13.%, respectively.



Carlos Barbosa, president of the Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP), also highlighted the success of the event at a sporting level.

«We challenged the municipality of Vila de Real de Santo António, which embraced this project of holding sand events in Portugal, and to whom we thank for the fantastic work they carried out and which provided this great spectacle in Monte Gordo».

The competition, promoted by the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), and which brought together more than a hundred motorcycle and quad riders, crowned Belgian rider Todd Kellett as the winner of the Sand Racing World Championship.

The race had two more stages at the emblematic Enduropale du Touquet, in France, and at the Enduro del Verano, held in Argentina.

Yentel Martens, the winner of the third and final round, held in Monte Gordo, praised the track conditions: «the circuit is good, with good sand, I really liked the more technical part, as even as the race went on it wasn't getting bumpy. I'm happy that there are more sand events in Europe and I hope this competition continues. It's a good area for us to stay».

Like the Sul Informação had already reported, this was evidence that raised several questions at the level of environmental impact.



Now, the municipality reinforces that «the Environmental Enhancement Plan was complied with in full».

«At this moment, the profile of the sand is already regularized and clean, and no negative impact was recorded during the race, nor was there any trampling of the primary dunes. It should be noted, in fact, that the area of ​​the aforementioned primary dunes was completely fenced».

In order to guarantee the reduction of the carbon footprint associated with the event, the municipality carried out, this Thursday, Autochthonous Forest Day, a reforestation action in the National Forest of the Coastal Dunes of Vila Real de Santo António, through of the Forestry Technical Office, the Environment Division and the Municipal Civil Protection Service.

A Monte Gordo Sand Experience was promoted by the Vila Real de Santo António City Council and was organized by the Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP), under the auspices of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and the Motorcycling Federation of Portugal (FMP).

«This event not only promoted sports, but also brought renewed vitality to Monte Gordo, becoming a catalyst for growth and recognition of the tourist and economic potential of this location, even in low season», concludes the councilor responsible for sport and environment in the municipality of VRSA Álvaro Leal.

In this way, the «Monte Gordo Sand Experience» demonstrated that it is possible to combine a sporting event with the safeguarding of environmental heritage, with a high return for the municipality's economic agents.