Speaking to Lusa, the president of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), João Fernandes, considered the number of spectators planned for the inaugural race of the MotoGP World Championship "very significant", but stressed that the visitors include families who take the opportunity to spend the weekend in the south of the country.
"We anticipate that during the weekend we will have, in global terms, a number of more than 150,000 people passing through the circuit, and the largest concentration will naturally be on Sunday, which should exceed 60,000," said Paulo Pinheiro, administrator of the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, at a press conference.
João Fernandes pointed out that, in the three weeks prior to the event, the teams were at the Portimonense circuit testing their equipment, with their riders and support teams, which represents a "very relevant impact" for the tourist activity of the region.
This impact is felt in the western area of the Algarve, but also "up to the area of Vilamoura", 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 don't go to the show, 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 in the Algarve," he said.
The demand of the region is therefore "higher than the number of spectators" of the race and "is not exhausted in the hotel industry in the vicinity of the racetrack", he added.
According to João Fernandes, the race once again has an attractive factor, which is to see the rider Portuguese Miguel Oliveira with a bike of a new brand (Aprilia, instead of KTM) and with the coincidence that the Grand Prix is the first race of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship, which allows fans "eager" to witness the race after a break of months in the competition.
"We also know that MotoGP has a huge impact not only when it happens, but also on the ability it has to publicise destinations. And on top of that, the track – crowded by 'roller coaster' fans – gives the Grand Prix in Portimão a special interest."
Speaking to Lusa, the president of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Developments of the Algarve (AHETA) considered that the event will lead the hotels in the area of Lagos and Portimão to be with an "excellent" occupancy rate and that the "impact" of the event on the sector can reach Vilamoura.
"It is this type of event that we have to have in the low season, to ensure an increase in occupancy" in these periods, stressed Hélder Martins.
MotoGP is the premier category of the World Motorcycle Speedway, whose championship kicks off this weekend in Portugal.
Over 150 thousand expected at MotoGP
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