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Madalena ,  July 09, 2019

Vasco Cordeiro opens "House of Volcanoes" to promote Azorean geological heritage and enhance Pico's tourism offer

The President of the Government opened today the "House of Volcanoes." This new Environmental Centre represents an investment of about two million Euros to promote the Region's geological heritage and enhance Pico's tourism offer for the Azoreans and those visiting this island.
"Opening the doors of another new Environmental Centre is a source of satisfaction for the Regional Government for its contribution to the dissemination of our natural and cultural heritage. It is also important for what it represents to enhancing the attractiveness of each one of our islands, and in the specific case of Pico, the tourism offer available for those visiting us and those residing in our Region," said Vasco Cordeiro.
On the second day of the Government's statutory visit to Pico, the President of the Government stated that this new infrastructure, which has recovered two old warehouses, intends to seize the enormous potential related to geodiversity. According to him, "it must be preserved but also promoted and disseminated, seeing that this is also a fundamental condition for its sustainability."
"These spaces are important environmental and tourism recreation hubs that enhance our tourist destination and promote the sustainable socio-economic development model we defend for our nine islands," said Vasco Cordeiro.
The "House of Volcanoes" is now part of the Network of Environmental Centres of the Azores, which now has 23 spaces on all islands and there has been a growing demand over the years. They received almost 400,000 visitors in 2018, a significant increase compared to the 67 thousand visitors registered in 2012.
"This growth clearly evidences the importance of these spaces as places designed for people and their enrichment by providing a set of elements based on the authenticity of the natural and cultural values of each island. Moreover, they are also a tourism product that we have to offer to those visiting us," stressed the President of the Government.
According to him, the island of Pico, as in the remaining islands, has managed to harness the opportunities arising from the good performance registered by the tourism sector, as evidenced by the figures showing a consolidated growth over time.
"The 17% growth of Pico Island in terms of overnight stays in the three main types of accommodation during the first four months of 2019 is a good incentive. In fact, it is an encouraging sign that the island's tourism dynamics is reducing seasonality with a better distribution of revenue throughout the year and, therefore, contributing to job stability," said Vasco Cordeiro.
According to the President of the Government, this positive development is not the result of an isolated factor, but rather of the development of a consolidated partnership over time between public and private entities. This has led to the structuring of products, the promotion of our visibility and the improvement of the services available in this area.
A growth registered not only by Pico Island but also by the Region. In fact, it registered an "excellent growth over 17% in overnight stays in the three main types of accommodation in the first four months of this year, after a growth over 7% in 2018," stressed the President of the Government.
In his speech, Vasco Cordeiro also considered that these data are "a clear sign of a strategy that is gradually yielding results," but warned that these figures cannot give rise to illusions.
"We have challenges of consolidation, qualification and value creation. We must continue to create value so that we can add a new dimension to this sector and ensure its economic sustainability by creating value and not by the number of visitors," defended Vasco Cordeiro.
The "House of Volcanoes" intends to be a starting point for the exploration and knowledge of this geological heritage, providing Pico Island with an Interpretation Centre that acknowledges its importance. In addition, it will also complement the support provided by the Mountain House, whose upgrading and expansion works are in the final phase.
The proximity of the new space to the headquarters of Pico Natural Park and the Vineyard Culture Interpretation Centre also represents a significant expansion of the services already available at the Lajido de Santa Luzia Centre, enabling a wider and integrated use of these valuable infrastructures.
With regard to exhibitions, the "House of Volcanoes" will have a permanent exhibition based on a set of modules that tell the history of volcanoes in the Azores and in the world as well as the formation of the Universe.
Overall, there is an interactive and very sensorial exhibition, based on technology, scientific rigour and quality in the presentation of contents. It also features an educational area, the Corner of Volcanoes, thus making it an interpretation centre oriented to tourists and the public in general, but also a space of knowledge and learning directed to youngsters.


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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