Vilamoura Equestrian Centre

Vilamoura Champions Tour to generate €20 million for Algarve economy

Three-hundred and fifty horse riders from 30 countries are taking part in the Vilamoura Champions Tour, a major international showjumping competition being held at the Vilamoura Equestrian Centre behind closed doors until November 19.

“We estimate that the presence of 1,500 people during the event’s six weeks will translate into an economic return of around €20 million for the Algarve,” the equestrian centre’s CEO António Moura told Lusa news agency this week.

“We are talking about people of a high social status, who are staying at Vilamoura’s finest hotels,” he added.

Not only are they helping keep many hotels going, they are “regular customers at local restaurants and businesses,” Moura stressed.

The competition started on October 7 and features weekly grand prix in which riders attempt to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic forced organisers to go ahead with the event without spectators.

While it has gone ‘under the radar’ compared to the Algarve’s F1 and MotoGP races, António Moura says the Vilamoura Champions Tour is a huge event in the horse-riding world.

Elidérico Viegas, president of the Algarve hoteliers’ association (AHETA), said that local hotels and resorts “recognise the importance of all events of this nature, due to the impact they have on local businesses, especially outside of the so-called tourism high season”.

However, he admitted that the Vilamoura Champions Tour’s “true economic impact” is unclear and should be studied by an “independent and accredited entity such as the University of the Algarve”.

You can follow the latest news from the event, including results and interviews, by following the Vilamoura Equestrian Centre Facebook page (

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