The Algarve’s tourism board (RTA) has launched a new campaign encouraging motorhomers to “make the best choice” and park up at one of the region’s 35 official camp and caravan sites.
Said the tourism board, the goal is to “discourage motorhomers from parking in other areas which lack adequate infrastructure and services”.
The RTA added that the official sites are equipped with “all the necessary comfort and safety conditions, providing water, electricity, waste disposal, Wi-Fi and other services.”
“There is a network of official sites for motorhomers in the Algarve which allows them to enjoy the region’s main attractions whilst also abiding by the law,” said Algarve tourism chief João Fernandes.
As he explained, motorhoming is a niche that has been growing throughout Europe in recent years, even more so now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
And while the tourism board welcomes motorhomers “with open arms”, it is also aware that wild camping has become a serious concern in some parts of the Algarve.
“Parking overnight at beachside car parks, cliffs, dunes and pine tree forests poses serious problems in terms of hygiene and public health, alters the environmental stability of protected areas and creates unnecessary safety risks for motorhomers,” Fernandes defended.
The campaign will be promoted through billboards, on social media, via Google Ads and through other online and offline means, said the tourism board.
A promotional video has also been uploaded to the VisitAlgarve YouTube page.
Meanwhile, some are calling for more than just awareness campaigns.
The ‘Amigos da LPN do Algarve’, a group of members and supporters of the Portuguese Nature League in the Algarve, want authorities to be given more means to act against wild camping.
“It’s better than nothing, but we won’t get anywhere with appeals… the rules have to be changed so that transgressors can be fined right away and heavily. Authorities have to be given the means to act,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.
It added: “Motorhoming is a useful activity. But it needs to be bound by rules and common sense!”
A list of the Algarve’s official camp and caravan sites can be found online at www.autocaravanalgarve.com