Is Portugal the new hot spot in the European surf scene?Speakers: Tiago PIRES , Pedro FERNANDES , Jean-Louis RODRIGUES
Hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis, Portugal suffered heavily and at length from the aftermath of the crisis, enduring hardship as late as 2014. That is when the government and the tourism council decided to invest in the attractiveness of Portuguese beaches and waves as a lever for recovery. Significant investments were put it to attract tourists and surfers in particular. A competitive Portuguese surfing tour eventually came to life with a variety of formats and levels, from the Pro Junior, to the QS, to the Championship Tour and even a Big Wave Tour event in Nazaré. The fame of the giant wave was particularly pivotal in attracting attention in and putting Portugal on the worldwide surfing map.
Today, public institutions are betting on the support and development of the surfing industry in Portugal to ensure a sustainable future for the sector.
This has sparked a reaction in the South West of France, in the spirit of a healthy competition between the two surfing regions. On Day-2 of the EUROSIMA Surf Summit, we will open a discussion on this topic during our round-table session led by Dave Mailman. Joining Dave we will welcome key guests Francisco Spinola, General Manager at WSL Europe and President of the events agency Ocean Events ; Tiago Pires, former pro surfer and professional surfing events organiser; Pedro Fernandes, Brand Manager and Commercial Director of Despomar, the largest surfing retailer in Portugal and last but not least Jean-Louis Rodrigues, EUROSIMA President.