Tourism board rejects Grand Champions

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

News of the cancellation of the Vale do Lobo Grand Champions tennis tournament, which was due to take place at the resort between August 9 and 11, has been met with disappointment by organisers Premier Sports.

In a statement to the Algarve Resident, Pedro Frazão from Premier Sports spoke of his regret that the tournament had been cancelled due to the withdrawal of key sponsors.

“Although it has been held for more than 10 years, this social and renowned sports event held in the middle of Vale do Lobo’s high season of tourism and integrating with the ATP Champions Tour had to be cancelled. Unfortunately we received the last minute withdrawal of key sponsors which dictated the cancellation this year.”

He added: “The event has a long tradition and importance to national and international tourism promotion and we are hoping to count on the long awaited support of the Portuguese Tourism Board.”

A spokesman from the Portuguese Tourism Board, Turismo de Portugal, told the Algarve Resident: “Turismo de Portugal rejected the application of the tournament from qualifying for the Tourism Intervention Programme (PIT) because the jury found that the event did not have a competitive enough dimension to justify the attraction of visitors to Portugal.”

While the tournament has been cancelled for this year and aid from the Portuguese Tourism Board is not forthcoming, the organisers still hope that next year will see the return of the Vale do Lobo Grand Champions tennis tournament.

“Premier Sports continues and just this last May we organised another edition of the Grand Champions Brazil in São Paulo. We will also be shortly announcing another project that will take place this year in another part of the world,” said Pedro Frazão.

He added: “It is our ambition to return the idols of world tennis to Vale do Lobo, next year if possible.”