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Horta ,  September 08, 2017

Marta Guerreiro says rehabilitation of Porto Pim Whale Factory is another step towards the sustainable tourism development model

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism said the intervention to rehabilitate Porto Pim Whale Factory is another step towards a sustainable tourism development model, based on the promotion of the Region's material heritage.
Marta Guerreiro spoke after a visit to the ongoing works carried out by the Regional Directorate for the Environment, stressing that this intervention "respects the heritage." It is "an excellent example of how we can change an activity" such as whaling, which ended in 1980s, "using this building for tourist purposes and respecting our heritage."
According to the Secretary for the Environment and Tourism, it is possible to "use these structures as visiting centres," where "tangible and intangible heritage is used for tourist purposes" and, thus, becomes an asset "to those who visit us."
The work aims to "preserve the building." It promotes the acquisition of the Reis & Martins estate and the improvement of the visiting conditions of the industrial complex, with the inclusion of Patrão Manuel room in the tour; the latter will now display the skeleton of a sperm whale and an exhibition dedicated to the biology of this mammal.
Moreover, the intervention includes the recovery of workspaces assigned to the Azores Sea Observatory and the creation of a small multipurpose area.
The Regional Secretary also pointed out that whale hunting has been replaced by whale watching. We have provided a "differentiating contribution to regional tourism," which registers a year-on-year growth in the number of visitors searching for experiences related to the sea.
Marta Guerreiro also stated that, since the end of whaling, the Azores have been able to seize the potential of the vast heritage associated with this activity. Nowadays, whaling lookouts continue to be used in whale watching activities, whaling boats give colour to regattas, and much of the industrial heritage is on display at museums and interpretation centres.
It should be noted that about 84 thousand people watched whales in the Azores in 2016, generating a revenue estimated to be over 4 million Euros. It could easily reach even higher figures, largely due to the increase in the number of maritime-tourism activities from 2014 to 2016, which grew above 40%.


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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