The network comprises 22 infrastructures in total including 11 campsites, six service stations and two rural camping spots.
Named the Home Network for Motor-Caravanning in the Algarve Region (RAARA) the route was unveiled last Friday at the Espiche campsite in Lagos and culminated in the handing out of plaques to the participating founding entities. Others can still sign up.
To start with, 25 infrastructures signed up to be included in the network but three were excluded due to a lack of minimum
Of the 22 locales approved, seven have small tweaks that need to be made within a year.
Nuno Marques, vice-president of the Algarve Regional Commission for Cooperation and Development (CCDRA) stressed that a series of meetings have been held between the commission and the various parks as well as with the respective security enforcement agencies and health and safety authorities, to “fine tune details” and make sure “all conditions are met for the closest cooperation.”
During the meeting, owners of various campsites that have signed up to the network voiced their frustration at a lack of inspections and enforcement on illegally-operating set-ups as well as motorhoming as a whole, in the region.
Nuno Marques replied “informalities and illegalities are the cause of the work we have done so far”, but that “there is still much work to be done.”
Speaking at the meeting Desidério Silva, head of the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA), gave his word that he would lend his support on the matter.
“Send me a letter with your questions, with everything you think still needs to be done, and I hereby assume the commitment to deliver it to the appropriate entities, government officials, and lawmakers”, he vowed.
Speculators have reflected that for the RAARA to be successful more alterations to the rules that regulate caravanning activity in Portugal must be made, and the network needs promoting.
Figures estimate that eighty percent of the country’s motorhomers flock to the Algarve, and ninety percent of those are foreigners.
The increasingly numerous presence of motorhomes in the Algarve has long been a bone of contention among locals.
While some praise the seasonal visitors for buoying local economies during slower seasons, others criticise the campers for setting up in non-authorised spots, accusing them of being an eyesore and taking advantage of the Algarve’s
Describing motorhoming as “a factor of economic development”, Mr. Silva added it brings “people to the Algarve for its climate and security.”
He stressed the activity’s importance for the region’s low-seasons, explaining “these people consume culture, cuisine, crafts, wines, and contribute greatly to the local economy, especially in autumn, winter and spring.”
“The network has been created, now it’s up to each of us to do our job!” the head of the RTA urged