The international surfing events held in the Azores over the last ten years have generated an estimated financial return of more than 50 million euros, according to the organization of the Azores Airlines Masters Championships.
Speaking to journalists, at the end of this international event, integrated in the World Surfing League (WSL), which took place in Ribeira Grande county, São Miguel Island, in the Azores, the organization guarantees that the impact of the event on the economy place is huge.
“These numbers are always difficult to ascertain with rigor, but I dare say that our bet on surfing in the last 10 years already represents an economic return to the Azores of much more than 50 million euros,” said Rodrigo Herédia , responsible for the organization of the event.
This event, which brought together 30 surfers from around the world for the first time in Portugal, confirms the strategic importance of the Azores in this type of sport, and reinforces the idea that “the Azores are the Hawaii of Europe. ”
“We look for these events to provide experiences of visitation to the territory and I believe that the impact will be much greater because the images of our destiny run the world and call for the visitation,” said the regional tourism secretary, Marta Guerreiro, at the end of the event.
The official also said that the presence of great world surfing legends from countries considered as “the great surf nations”, among them Australia, Hawaii, USA, Brazil, Portugal and South Africa, reinforces its role with the countries ‘issuers’ of tourists.
“And in the case of the United States, this year’s reinforcement of area links also opened the way for US East Coast surfers to experience the waves of the Azores, especially in the off-summer months, for the modality, with a mild weather and warm waters, “stressed Marta Guerreiro.
Rob Gunning, European tour of the World Surf League also understands that the Azores are an “incredible destination”, not just for surfing, even if this event “is showing the world the best that the region has to offer”.
“It was a unique spectacle with so many former WSL world champions reunited after so many years away from the international stages of the competition,” he added, adding that “the waves on the island of São Miguel are world class.”
The Azores Airlines World Masters Championships took place between September 18 and 23 at Santa Bárbara beach, Ribeira Grande, São Miguel island, and brought together 30 former world champions who are currently the great references for the surfer community.