Businesses associated with wave sports are booming in Ericeira


Photography: Mafra Municipality


It is not news to (almost) anyone that the business associated with wave sports has been, along with tourism activities, strong economic levers for Ericeira in the last decades and, even more pronounced, since the establishment of the World Surfing Reserve in 2011.

Recently, the mayor of Mafra has released some figures that help trace the current picture.

In the context of the Portuguese Surfing Cup, won by the Ericeira Surf Club, when faced with a study that concluded by injecting 400 thousand euro into the local economy in the 2018 edition, also held at Foz do Lizandro, Hélder Sousa Silva considered that “This event cannot be viewed in isolation, but as part of a broader tourism promotion strategy that has been developed by the Municipality of Mafra.”

there are over one thousand local lodgings in the municipality of Mafra, with about 65% in Ericeira alone

For his part, continued the mayor, “in the context of the local economy, there is a strengthening of the business associated with wave sports.”

And here the regional conjuncture is as follows, disclosuring the surf wear industry figures:

  • 45 licensed surf schools on the coast
  • 1.106 local lodgings (around 65% located in Ericeira and about 50% surf-oriented)
  • 11 shapers
  • 16 surf shops

Also, here we understand the reasons why the municipality considers that the holding of events such as the Portuguese Surfing Cup or the EDP Billabong Pro has a strategic relevance, namely when projecting Ericeira nationally and internationally and contributing to its economic dynamism.

There are already studies, academic and beyond, that address issues such as the value of surfing tourism in Ericeira. Although the conjuncture presented here is not immune to fluctuations (even due to its relation to the non-permanent tourist trends), surfing business in Ericeira is something with a structural strength and impact, as already happened with tourist activities, which record a centuries-old tradition in the village “where the sea is bluer”.

It is important that a medium/long term sustainability logic is imposed in order to care for (not exploit) this cluster, which is also a valuable common heritage.

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