The Algarve: Revving up for the Big Race

With the Formula One race track almost finished and raring to go, will the attention from the world of Motor Sports increase interest in the Algarve property scene?

[UKPRwire, Thu Sep 25 2008] With the Formula One race track almost finished and raring to go, will the attention from the world of Motor Sports increase interest in the Algarve property scene?

Pole Position

The Algarve has been popular with tourists for years and now with the opening of the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve just around the bend, the region is gearing up for even more visitors.

Already an area that is renowned for its golf courses, big game fishing, sailing and scuba diving, the race tack is expected to bring a further one million tourists a year to the Algarve.

On Track

The ambitious race track under construction in Portimão will be open for the Portuguese round of the Superbike World Championship scheduled for 2nd November 2008.

As well as the circuit, the project also includes a karting track, a technology park, a luxury five-star hotel, a sports complex and numerous apartments.

The complex occupies an area of nearly 300 hectares, including a racing track offering 64 variations, the longest being 4,692 metres for Formula One competitions. The circuit has already been approved by FIA for Formula One and by FIM for the Moto Grand Prix.

The circuit is located in Escapadinho, in the foothills of the coastal town of Portimão. Around 195 million Euros has been allocated to the development of the Autódromo, making it the biggest investment ever in the Algarve.

With Faro airport just an hour away and an additional road from the A22 motorway being built, access to the area will be easily achieved.

Fuel Consumption

One of the main concerns associated with the project is the environmental impact the race track may have, particularly for those living near to the venue.

Environmental Impact Studies were carried out by experts and approved with a commendation from the environmental organisations.

But the biggest issue could be the noise levels, even though the construction company are confident that the sound barriers built will minimise the effect on neighbours as much as possible.

Breaking Tradition

Portugal has not featured on the Formula One calendar since the 1997 season, when Jacques Villeneuve won the final race held at Lisbon-based Estoril.

The Formula One bosses pulled the plug on future races being held there, when the race track fell below the safety standards expected of Grand Prix events.

Since then, there has been no indication that Estoril has suffered due to the absence of Formula One, as the area continues to attract a high number of tourist. However, similar to the rest of the country, levels of tourism trade in the area are proportionally down on previous years.

If the Algarve does get the green light to host Formula One, it remains to be seen if that will have any impact on the popularity or tourism trade of Estoril.

Driving the Property Market

It is expected that more than a thousand new jobs will be created by the Autódromo project and tourist levels will substantially increase as visitors flock to see the sporting contests, all of which will have a positive impact on the local and national economy.

And with the complex located outside the coastal zone, there should be more of a focus on the inland of the Algarve, therefore combating the problem the region has suffered with tourists mainly arriving during the seasonal summer months and staying by the sea. The Autódromo will offer an excellent alternative to existing products of the Algarve.

The development and promotion of the complex may also have a positive effect on the local property market. Any growth in employment and tourism trade, especially during the off-peak season, should create higher occupancy rates for buy to let investors.

Already a good area for rentals due to its frequent visitors, the Algarve also has some of the highest property prices in Portugal, according to Global Property Guide research. Often referred to as the ‘other market’ in Portugal, the region continually seems to perform independently to the rest of the country, supported by its golf and beach tourism.

Dan Johnson, Managing Director, comments:
“The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, will speedily promote the regions assets even further by creating more jobs and increasing the levels of tourism. The local and national economy can only be boosted by the project, which should drive the demand for properties even higher as investors rally for a first class bargain.”

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0207 952 7650


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