sexta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2015

E em agosto o destino que mais cresceu em passageiros aéreos foi... o Pico!

Segundo os dados mais recentes do Serviço Regional de Estatística dos Açores relativos ao transporte aéreo, a ilha do Pico foi a que mais cresceu no mês de agosto em termos de passageiros desembarcados (em percentagem e comparando com o período homólogo de 2014 - ver tabela).

Os dados estatísticos mostram como em agosto de 2015 desembarcaram no aeroporto da ilha do Pico 17,4% mais passageiros do que no mesmo período de 2014, valor este de dois dígitos que apenas é comparável com os 15,2% do aeroporto de Ponta Delgada. Também é de realçar que estes dois destinos açorianos (Pico e São Miguel) foram os únicos que cresceram acima da média dos Açores, não só no mês de agosto mas também no período acumulado de 2015 face a igual intervalo de tempo do ano transato.

No entanto, alguns dirão que uma avaliação em percentagem, apesar de justa, esconde os valores absolutos e não permite avaliar qual o verdadeiro impacto do crescimento dos passageiros aéreos que se tem verificado, de forma generalizada, em todas as ilhas dos Açores. Analise-se, então, alguns valores absolutos.

Em agosto deste ano desembarcaram mais 14.057 passageiros do que em igual período de 2014, os quais se distribuíram da seguinte forma:
  • + 10.816 para São Miguel;
  • + 1.030 para o Pico;
  • + 892 para a Terceira;
  • + 815 para o Faial;
  • + 295 para as Flores;
  • + 270 para São Jorge;
  • - 1 para Santa Maria;
  • - 29 para a Graciosa;
  • - 31 para o Corvo.
As estatísticas revelam um dado impressionante: em termos absolutos, o Pico foi a segunda ilha com maior crescimento no número de passageiros desembarcados, superando destinos com volumes de passageiros muito superiores, tais como a Terceira (destino com cerca de 5 vezes mais passageiros do que a ilha montanha) e o Faial (destino com cerca do dobro dos passageiros do que a ilha do Pico).

Estas estatísticas apenas surpreendem quem não tem acompanhado a evolução do destino Pico, onde não é a primeira vez que este é o destino que mais cresce nos passageiros aéreos, as respetivas taxas de crescimento já chegaram a superar os 40% e os voos chegam a ter uma taxa de ocupação de 99%.

Tudo isto acontece na apelidada "ilha do futuro", a qual não tem voos low cost, vê os voos interilhas a serem alterados para piores horários ou com planos para serem reduzidos, enquanto outras ilhas açorianas que menos crescem têm um reforço de voos, viagens promocionais financiadas pela República ou operações charter subsidiadas (as famosas variações da SATA, agora também aliadas a umas promoções da TAP que não podem ser extensíveis à ilha do Pico porque esta empresa abandonou a ilha montanha).

A verdade é que os dados estatísticos não mentem: o Pico afirma-se cada vez mais como uma ilha do presente porque está definitivamente na moda!

Haja saúde!

9 comentários:

  1. Hmm... Ivo, I don't think more people on Pico is actually a good thing...
    More people to spoil the place. The whole attraction of places that are not easily accessible is that they remain nice. You can see the effect of "growth" with the erection of the criminal, idiotic, ugly cement monstrosity that is the pointless new "ferry depot" in Madalena. I have not come accross a worse thought-out project than that. It has utterly and totally ruined what could have been a really fantastic area. I would like to be able to have a word with the people behind its "design". Other ugly cement monstrosities include the pointless schools in Piedade and Lajes. Plus of course the cement expanse of Lajes sea front could have been made far more interesting at the same cost. It's main purpose now is to prevent access to the sea for Tourists who have come to visit an Island. Also, no architect can improve on the aestetics of a stone wall, so why "civil" architects use only stupid cement totally baffles me, since stones almost for free on Pico. Maybe their computers can't cope with irregular shapes.
    As controversial as it may sound, I see no point in having more people or destroying the beauty of Pico with more hideous cement infrastructure, thanks.

    1. Hi and thank you for your comment,

      I understand your point of view. But what is happening with Pico today is a slightly different issue: some people that are traveling to/from Pico cannot arrive to/depart from this island directly; they have to go either to Faial or to São Jorge!
      (check what I wrote last July:

      So, what I think is that more flights to Pico will not bring more people to this island but instead will better serve those who already come to or live in Pico. I also believe that the number of tourists is mainly "controlled" by the number of available beds and not by the number of flights itself.

      About the cement infrastructures, I agree with you that some of them are hideous, but when they are in the "public discussion phase", many persons do not care and afterwards criticize them; one should express his/her disagreement before things are done, so as to avoid some of these "environmental crimes". As a good example, see what is being done in Lajido, where constructions have to follow the traditional way of doing things: black stone, small houses with low heights, etc.

      Haja saúde!

  2. Hello Ivo,
    Having been coming and going to Pico by air for the last 10+ years (and being permanently here for the last 2 ) I have made many dozens of flights. I can tell you that arriving in Pico direct or Horta and going by ferry was the most pleasant part of the journey. Originally, the start of my travel meant getting up at 4 in the morning for a 2+ hour road trip by bad motorway to a GB airport (cost about E100), 2.5 hours to Lisboa, overnight stay plus 2x taxis, and then the flight to the Azores.
    I don't think many countries would bother building 3 airliner size airports within such close proximity of each other. Long and costly journeys to airports are very normal throughout the world and Pico-Horta is very short.

    I would argue that easy accessibility means the eventual detriment of a place. If access is difficult, it means that only people who REALLY want to be here will come. IN GB I lived in a very picturesque old town that had exactly the same problem. It was a place frequented by high-end tourists but "improved" access simply opened it to the masses (and criminals) and permanently drove away the real spenders.

    Regarding hideous cement monstrosities, Ithink you are quite right about the lack of public participation but one would have though that those elected to deal with it would/should have the capacity to do so?

    Incidentally, where can one see plans of (and possibly object to) the likely equally pointless new ferry terminal for Cais?
    I am almost certain that, as with most civil projects and architecture, I could suggest a far better and more imaginative design for the same cost, which may even include an innovation not seen elsewhere in the world ;-)

    Please excuse the english, I am presently struggling to learn one of the 47 Pico accents, and thank you for the opportunity to air my thoughts.
    Best regards, UsernameOO7

    1. Hello again,

      Your thoughts are always welcomed and the best part of freedom is that we get the chance share different views over the same subject.

      Things only evolve towards a good solution if we discuss them. And that is the goal that I try to attain by publishing these posts about Pico connectivities: What is the path that should be taken regarding air and sea transportation to/from Pico? What are the pros and cons of having better connections? What needs to be optimized, completely changed or preserved?

      I share my thoughts, I try to justify them with some unbiased data, but I am deeply grateful that you also shared your point of view.

      If all the people start doing the same, I am sure that the politicians will need to take that into consideration and we would start living in a better society.

      Finally, I want to congratulate you by making an effort to learn one of "Pico's languages"!

      Haja saúde!

  3. Hello again,
    I just checked again about the new ferry terminal suggested for Cais but am I misunderstanding something?
    Looking here on the second page:
    They want to blow another 32 million Euros on this?!!!! WTF?!
    They only just built the other one! What is wrong with that one then and whose fault is it?!

    1. They are planning to build a new port just for passengers, with a capacity for larger ships like Express Santorini, so it is a different type of terminal compared with the one built in Madalena. Nevertheless, it is still in the project phase and, judging by the several years delay, it will be kept in that stage for a long long time...

  4. I also dislike all the cement - and that's the main reason why Faroe Islands won #1 island spot from National Geographic, taking it away from Azores. They don't seem to care though - they as being the GOV.
    From what I hear the Sao Roque building will be very much like Madalena and Faial, so that all 3 islands have similar facilities. There has to be a place to check for that. And yes, i believe it is a waist, but most structures in Azores right now are just for construction purposes, as they do not seem to run and the programming in them is pointless. Anyway, we all have our feelings, and opinions.
    And, we have a lot more room in Pico that can easily double tourist and still not notice it. We don't have proper accommodations though and it's not 5* that will do. Madalena needs a hostel type of accommodation and a lot more "rural homes" style of accommodations. Also, training in tourism reception is needed in our islands. That's the main criticism I hear every year, of the 4 I've been living here. people do not know how to "serve" tourists.

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      You stated that "From what I hear the Sao Roque building will be very much like Madalena and Faial, so that all 3 islands have similar facilities. There has to be a place to check for that". Unfortunately, there is no place to check that and the new port of São Roque do Pico is supposed to be a facility like the one in Horta, i.e., for larger ships, not for smaller ships - that is the main difference, since in Pico there is no room for passengers ships (like Express Santorini) and cargo ships (like Furnas) to operate at the same time. Only São Miguel, Terceira and Faial have these conditions, while São Jorge will have them in a near future. If you check the statistics, Pico has more sea passengers than Terceira, São Miguel or São Jorge, which means that the priorities were reversed...

      Regarding the tourism reception, I agree with you that there is a long path still to be done. Nevertheless, I also believe that the first and most important step has already been taken, that is, to recognize that the tourism reception needs to be improved.

      Haja saúde!

    2. I will try to find out more about the Cais development.
      As for Tourism, I agree Picorotos maybe need more training but I disagree that more tourists are needed on Pico.There were too many in Canas this year, for a start and Madalena was overrun. Even the Grota needed pre-booking and people were turned away.
      There certainly is no need for a Hostel, The tourists who use hostels don't spend much money and scare away the high value tourists. If there is a shortage of beds it just means that ALL the existing accomodation owners can raise their prices, there is no need for new cheap beds. (In GB expect to pay E100 daily upwards just for cheap bed and breakfast only, in a not very special Tourism area).
      I also wonder how many host owners actually live on Pico and spend the earnt money here on Pico. What we found in GB is that everybody was forever told what a good thing Tourism is by the politically strong hotelier lobby and their friends but when it came down to it, most locals didn't benefit from them much at all, quite the opposite. They just had to put up with all the negative things and pay for them with their local taxes while most owners didn't even live in the places that were overrun by the hordes.
      Quality eco-tourism, yes, mass eco-tourism, absolutely no.

      I am also dubious about the need for a bigger Cais harbour. The population has coped fine without it, what has changed? Get some smaller, faster launches to do Cais - Velas - Calheta instead, like there used to be but modern, and forget RoRo and the space they waste. I don't think the huge new RoRo ferries and massive terminals are sustainable as it is. I certainly haven't missed still not being able to take my car from Cais to Sao Jorge on the new ships and the Santorini only stays here about an hour anyway.

      Personally I would rather see the new hospital actually get some doctors and the emergency service re-instated instead. That is something that really would help locals, maybe even save their lives.

      I also find the planned Sao Roque roundabout pointless and counterproductive. There simply isn't enough traffic to warrant one. It may even cause some accidents since most seem unaware of the correct use of indicators on roundabouts. That in itself means you have to stop longer for the other car to exit the roundabout because they don't show you that you don't need to wait for them.

      Maybe it's better if I don't learn Portuguese because I will just turn into an even bigger pain in the ass...!


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