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Santa Cruz da Graciosa ,  March 28, 2018

Azores Environmental Centres register increase of visitors in 2017

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism revealed today that the Azores Environmental Centre registered more than 130 thousand visitors last year, an increase of 13% compared to 2016.
Marta Guerreiro spoke at Furna do Enxofre Visitor Centre on Graciosa Island. She pointed out that this centre "keeps up with this growth trend," having registered about 6,700 visitors last year. This corresponds to a positive evolution of about 15%.
"This growing demand for the Network of Environmental Centres of the Azores demonstrates the interest of visitors in the content that disseminates our environmental heritage," said the government official.
According to Marta Guerreiro, "these places are of great importance in promoting and raising awareness for the Region's natural, both for the Azorean population and for tourists seeking the Azores; the latter already do so because of these environmental specificities."
The Secretary for the Environment recalled that, starting on April 1, residents in the Azores will be exempt from entrance fees in all regional Environmental Centres. According to her, this "will bring the community closer to these places, which play a leading role in the assertion of sustainable development goals and active citizenship."
Located within the Natural Monument of Caldeira da Graciosa, The Furna do Enxofre Visitor Centre is at the core of the Biosphere Reserve and the Island Natural Park. It has been in operation since 2010 as a gateway to Furna do Enxofre.
"This Centre safeguards the environmental quality, always respecting the values of geodiversity and landscape balance. It is also the starting point for the dissemination and awareness raising of landscape observation," stressed Marta Guerreiro.
"It is important to remember that Graciosa has been included in UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2007, being recognised for its environmental, heritage and cultural characteristics that the Government is committed to safeguarding," said the Regional Secretary.
Descending a staircase with 183 steps and 37 meters of height, visitors have the opportunity to appreciate an imposing cave of about 194 metres long and 50 meters high in its central part. This area reveals the largest dome-shaped roof in Europe, covered by small stalactites, as well as a lake located in its deepest zone with a depth of about 11 metres.
This cave features a fumarolic field consisting of a mudpot and dry gaseous fumes emanating from the cave's floor.


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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