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Calheta, São Jorge ,  August 28, 2019

Regional trails with Rapid Intervention and Rescue Plan

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism stated on São Jorge Island that the Regional Network of Hiking Trails is being provided with a Rapid Intervention and Rescue Plan. It is being implemented through the placement of numbered poles along the entire route length and the subsequent identification of the paths intersecting the trails, which will secure the access to rescue areas.
Marta Guerreiro stressed that this tool aims to “reduce waiting times, ensuring that rescue operations take place in the shortest possible time with the identification of the more efficient rescue path."
"In fact, hikers in distress when calling 112 may indicate which last numbered pole they saw. This will facilitate the identification and the definition of the rescue zone as well as the mobilisation of the most appropriate means for the site," added the Regional Secretary.
According to the government official, "this is a joint effort undertaken with the Firefighters and the Civil Protection involving the preparation of specific maps" that will cover the entire archipelago.
“We are currently in the process of implementing it, taking into account the more than 83 trails and routes stretching over an extension of 700 kilometres in the Region. It is expected to become an extremely important tool to enhance the safety of all hikers," noted Marta Guerreiro.
“Six islands have already worked on this Plan, namely S. Miguel with an implementation of around 50%, S. Jorge with a coverage rate of almost 90% and Corvo with a full coverage rate," said the Secretary for Tourism.
The Regional Secretary spoke on the sidelines of a visit to the suspended pedestrian bridge at Ribeira dos Cavaletes stream, a work she considered an "example of the relevance of Azorean trails and their active use.”
"This was a necessary investment to maintain the quality and safety of trails, while also introducing some emotion," stated the government official.
“In fact, hikers are also looking for more trails with a higher level of technical challenges and, accordingly, this is a good example of the Government's response to this demand," added Marta Guerreiro.
On the occasion, she highlighted the island of São Jorge for its “high quality trails, whose quality is itself the brand image of Azorean trails." According to her, "the demand for this type of tourism product has been quite strong."
“The reputation of the Azores destination has been increasingly positioned through active tourism based on the sustainable use of the Region's environmental heritage as well as through investments in the consolidation of a tourism offer based on the active use of natural spaces. In this regard, trails are one of the structuring resources underpinning this concept and their impact is significant in a destination such as ours," noted the Regional Secretary.


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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