(6th July). Today’s main news headline : ‘Hotels Infringe Law – A newish law covering access and use of the internet has been in force a year, but several hotels on Madeira still don’t comply’. A year after the new rules came in, many hotels still haven’t implemented their obligations. One of the rules is that all 3, 4 and 5 star hotels provide internet access for guests, and another is that they retain access and location data for guests and companies using the internet, in order to identify individuals where necessary for the purposes of detection, investigation, and prosecution of serious crimes. This data needs to be stored for one year, and there are penalties for non-compliance, although until now no investigation has been hindered because of this non-compliance.
‘Ferpinta Compensates Saviotti Over the hotel ‘Vila Baleira’. This was on the front page, but related to a contractual dispute between the owners and operating company of the hotel ‘D. Pedro Porto Santo’ aka ‘Vila Baleira’. The 10 year contract agreed in 1997 was terminated early for breach of trust, when the owners concluded that the management company were unable to manage the unit properly, with chaotic accounting, poor management, and other problems cited. Also mentioned are crimes of violation of correspondence and telecommunications, theft, computer fraud and sabotage, and unfair competition. It’s a long article with compensation of tens of millions of Euros being demanded, with counterclaims, appeals, and all sorts of corporate nastiness. This latest hearing resulted in the hotel owners being awarded €130,000 in compensation.
‘Number One Of 600 Hotels Worldwide – Jardim Atlântico adds environmental awards from international operators’. The hotel in Prazeres achieved yet a further award last week to recognise its performance in environmental sustainability. The latest award was from ‘Thomas Cook Northern Europe’, representing Scandinavia, for the ‘Best Ecological Hotel’. The hotel already hold 5 environmental compliance certificates, including ISO 14001, and now has 25 individual awards. The hotel also promotes environmental work outside of its own grounds, including reforestation of the Natural Park of Madeira, where 3,700 trees were planted using not only it’s own staff, but also involving hotel guests, who show great interest in such initiatives.
(5th July). ‘Summer Could Recover The Poor First Six Months – The regional secretary for tourism says that hotel bookings are pointing towards 90% occupancy’. She said while in Lisbon last week that the indications are good for this Summer in tourism, for the period between 15th July and 15th September, with some hotels, not all, with high levels of reservations. Much of the trade is coming from Portugal. "April and May were were good months" she said, and in June the numbers were similar to last year. In the first four and a half months tourists numbers and revenues were down between 10 and 15%, with hotels registering a 59% occupancy rate.
‘Madeira Leads With A Blue Marlin Of 351 Kilos – It is in a strong position to win the 25th world coarse fishing championship’. With just a few hours to go until the contest is completed in different time zones worldwide, Madeira is in front. The fish was caught by the team on the boat ‘Hawk Eye. UPDATE 6th July : The Madeira team was eventually thwarted, and lost the ‘winner takes all’ €400,000 prize, when in the last hours of the competition a Blue Marlin weighing 392 kilos was caught off Bermuda.
‘TAP Loses Over 100,00 Passengers Just In May – The negative trend has continued since January’. Compared to May last year, Portugal’s favourite airline lost 105,000 passengers, a reduction of 12.3%. The company blames the situation on a reduction in demand in the European and North Atlantic markets.
(3rd July). ‘Ryanair Opens Operating Base In Porto – The company says that the airport charges have discouraged connections with Madeira’. The Irish budget airline says it is interested in starting a domestic route between Porto and Madeira, and is keeping in touch with national and regional airport authorities. A spokesman for the company said that there are two criteria necessary for Ryanair to consider a new airport connection, being a fast turnaround time for ‘handling’ (able to despatch an aircraft 30 minutes after landing), and operating costs that fit into the companies business model. Ryanair’s 33rd base costing €100 million in Porto is expected to be up and running in September