According to Surfertoday.com, initial plans for the construction of a artificial wave pool have been approved by the seaside town of Peniche in Portugal.
The surf savvy mayor of Peniche, António José Correia, has apparently given green light for a theme park to be built right next to Baleal’s beachbreaks. It’s been suggested that the Basque Country Wavegarden surf pool concept in particular is a strong possibility for the project.
The idea behind the artificial wave project is to try and reduce the impact of seasonality on the local tourism industry and increase visitors’ spending patterns while on holiday in the region.
Many will put this development down as a knock on effect from the arrival and continued success of the Rip Curl Pro Search event (held in 2009), putting Peniche on the surf map for good and impacting the local economy in a positive manner (there are only so many sardines in the sea). The total investment in Peniche for the wave pool could reach 70 million euros and thought to create 100 new jobs.
On the other hand, the environmental impact of such a project remains to be seen and while local authorities work to get all the necessary environmental permits the project is likely to see some opposition from certain groups.