IN A joint statement, published recently by the Ministries of the Environment and of the Economy, the proposed International Autodrome of the Algarve project in Portimão was declared of great importance for the region and in the public interest for a number of reasons.
Not least because the new race track will mean an investment of about 100 million euros and will create about 1,500 jobs in the region.
The statement recognises further that the race track will have the effect of reducing the seasonality of tourism, increasing regional competitiveness and will mean a substantial diversification of the type of tourism on offer not only in the Algarve, but in the whole country.
Paulo Pinheiro, director of the project that is promoted by company Parkalgar, was reported as saying that the official recognition that the race track is in the public interest will be the foundation stone for the whole process of gaining approval for the project.
The International Autodrome of the Algarve will include, besides an F1 race track, a go-karting track, a five star hotel, 160 tourist apartments and a technology park. The final approval for the project is expected to happen within six to eight months. And Parkalgar expects to begin building work within the year.
The race track will also be the first Algarve project of “national interest” to be announced by the government. All indications are that the Tourism Minister, or the Minister for the Economy himself, may shortly come to the Algarve to make the official announcement. Nevertheless, the project still needs to satisfy the environmental impact study, which has been under discussion since the end of August.