International Research Network in Equinology

Equestrian tourism constitutes a crucial opportunity for the qualification and differentiation of the tourism offer in Alto Minho, helping to combat the seasonality of demand for nature tourism and tourism in rural areas and boosting the valorization of territories and local communities. In particular, the modality of 'horseback tourism' encourages the approximation between its practitioners and the population, as well as the discovery of the cultural and natural heritage of the destination.

The private initiative active in the three municipalities has shown that equestrian tourism is a successful bet, as evidenced by the growing demand for equestrian schools, equestrian centers and horse riding and hippotherapy.

The inter-municipal strategy for consolidating the offer of equestrian tourism in the project's target territory focuses on four major vectors:

i. the articulation and exploitation of synergies between equestrian tourism and other strategic tourism products on a regional scale, especially with rural tourism, nature tourism and cultural and landscape touring;

ii. the creation of an inter-municipal network of signposted and interpreted equestrian routes between the Serra de Arga and the Lima valley;

iii. the creation of a certified, signposted and publicized network of tourism service providers with characteristics suitable for welcoming equestrian tourists, including accommodation units, catering establishments, mountain villages, tourist entertainment companies, among others;

iv. the promotion of tourist appreciation of the Garrano as an autochthonous species and its natural habitat, as well as its cultural dimension, embodied in its historical and ethnographic importance for the rural communities of Alto Minho.

Equestrian tourism opens up multiple possibilities of articulation with other tourist products, providing an integrated and differentiating offer, anchored in the specific resources of each territory, which provides tourists with the experience of enriching and multifaceted experiences. 'Horse tourism' and 'horse tourism' capture their specific market niche for the enjoyment of a holistic experience of the territory, with clear synergies with rural tourism, adventure tourism, nature tourism and sports tourism, cultural and landscape tourism and gastronomy and wines.

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