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Surfing Tourism Plan: Madeira Island Case Study


João T. Lopes1* and Pedro Bicudo2


Received: 15/06/2015 Accepted: 21/11/2016


1SOS- Salvem O Surf, Environmental NGO, Rua da Feitoria, Pavilhão Desportivo dos Lombos, Espaço 19, 2775-568 Carcavelos. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2SOS- Salvem O Surf, Environmental NGO, Rua da Feitoria, Pavilhão Desportivo dos Lombos, Espaço 19, 2775-568 Carcavelos. CFTP, Departamento de Física, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa
*Corresponding author



Surfing tourism provides a global business opportunity and forms part of the billionaire industry of adventure tourism. Surfing has successfully attracted participants willing to search for locations and unique adventure experiences, looking for surfing perfect conditions. It becomes essential to understand how surfers list and compare surfing destinations. In Portugal, surfing has been growing exponentially over the last decades not only as a sport, but also as a social and economic activity. However, surf spots have been damaged due to coastal constructions. This study aims to identify characteristics of Madeira ?s surf spots and surf industry services. SOS – Salvem o Surf practical model was used, which is based on geography, geology and meteorology aspects, and support infrastructure and services. We also discuss recovering surf spots which lost part of their world class quality, due to not including surfing in coastal management in the past. We consider surf spots improvement for surf tourists and beginners surfers, with the use of Multi-Purpose Reefs. Our results also suggest that surfing provides successfully alternatives, limiting the phenomenon of seasonality. This confirms that Madeira Island possesses several surf spots, with diverse degrees of difficulty, allowing surfing from beginner to advanced levels. This study provides a better understanding of surf tourist’s choice patterns, which benefits both surfers and the tourism industry.


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Keywords: Coastline Management; Environmental Policies; Surfing Tourism; Sustainable Development.


Citation: Lopes, J., P. Bicudo (2017) Surfing Tourism Plan: Madeira Island Case Study. European Journal of Tourism Research 16, pp. 45-56


European Journal of Тourism Research