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Furnas ,  November 02, 2009

Government and INOVA launch project to enhance growth of hydrotherapy in the Azores

The Government of the Azores, in collaboration with the Institute of Technological Innovation of the Azores (INOVA) will launch a research project designed to enhance the study and use of regional water resources, many of them being unique in the World.

The announcement of the formalisation of an agreement with the INOVA for the development of this project was made by the Regional Secretary for the Economy in Furnas today during the opening session of the International Meeting of Hydrotherapy and Thermal Tourism Forum and of the 3rd Iberian Forum of Bottled Water and Hydrotherapy.

Vasco Cordeiro, who spoke on behalf of the President of the Government, presented the new project, titled as “TERMAZ - Hydrotherapy, Thermal Mud and Bottled Water of the Azores: Classification, Industrial Applications and Therapeutic Indications,” which he considered an important tool for the “sustainable development of thermal, hydro-mineral and geothermal resources in the Autonomous Region of Azores, in a joint effort and in a close connection with the sustainability of hydrogeological resources, the obtainment of innovative products that enhance assets for users and also with the environmental preservation.”

Hence, the Regional Secretary explained that “the future works to be carried out will particularly focus on the traditional thermal centres thermal, such as Ferraria, Carapacho and Varadouro as well as on areas of high thermal potential, as in the case of Furnas and Ribeira Grande hot springs on S. Miguel Island and in Posto Santo on Terceira Island.”

With regard to another research field “special emphasis will be given to the classification of thermal waters and mud in other thermal centres of the Azores, especially in Ribeira Grande and Furnas hot springs on S. Miguel, in the Sulphur Cave on Graciosa, and also in the geothermal effluents and the respective precipitates of the Ribeira Grande Geothermal Field.”

In addition, according to the Regional Secretary for the Economy, “emphasis will be also given to the area of hydro-mineral resources, mainly in the study of natural sparkling water, regionally known as “água azeda” (sour water) in Lombadas, Ladeira da Vellha and Moinhos located in the Fogo volcano; and Serra do Trigo, Água Prata, Água Férrea and others located in the Furnas volcano.  
The Regional Secretary of the Economy also highlighted the growth potentialities of the Region in the area of Health Tourism, whether by the its natural conditions or by the investments that have been made by the Government of the Azores, following “a general strategy to strengthen the existing tourism offer in this area with, thereby developing thermal activity as a complement to other tourism and hotel services.

Therefore, the Secretary reminded that "the intervention in the Carapacho Thermal Spa on the Graciosa Island has started, being now at a conclusion stage, and in the Ferraria Thermal Spa on S. Miguel Island, which is expected to be completed in the beginning of the next year.

According to Vasco Cordeiro, “the aforementioned projects represent an investment over 7.5 million Euro, which in addition to the Varadouro Spa located on the island of Faial, are intended to boost the development of a varied and sophisticated offer, which satisfies the national and international demand, thus playing a vital role in the growth of Health tourism in the Azores destination. 

However, the Regional Secretary added that “ it is important become aware that the work cannot be carried out unless in a permanent, ambitious and demanding effort between public and private partners involved in this area, given “the moment we living today, with the reduction of the tourism sector worldwide to which our region is no exception”; therefore, “we need to have a clear understanding that we will only be able to overcome the present situation and, likewise, overcome the challenges of the Future if each party undertakes its task.

According to Vasco Cordeiro for the Economy, “this does not mean nor could mean, for example, that a private entity is required to undertake the task of promoting the Azores as a tourist destination, as it is not conceivable that public entities be in charge of the service quality provided by a specific hotel or even of its strategy to attract customers.”

“It only has the purpose of raising the awareness for the fact that if everyone fulfils the assigned task in the best possible way, it will be entirely accomplished,” stated the Regional Secretary for the Economy.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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