117 thousand tourists lost in 2009 ; Sao Vicente to prepare risk plans ; Other news headlines

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Rita … "Pride of Madeira taken at Pico Alto"

madeira news blog 1002 rita Pride of Madeira taken at Pico Alto

Many thanks to Elaine (East) for these web snippets :

Vimeo site. Daniell77 has uploaded two videos of the natural areas of Madeira. Narration in Portuguese. HERE

Origin of the ukulele in Hawaii. The SS Ravenscrag was a British barque, historically most famous for bringing Portuguese immigrants Joao Fernandes, Augusto Dias, Jose do Espirito Santo and Manuel Nunes to the islands, as these men are considered to have introduced the ukulele to Hawaii. This ship sailed from Madeira and reached Honolulu on the 23rd of August in 1879. This date is now honoured as the birth of the ukulele. MUST HAVE BEEN PAINFUL GIVING BIRTH TO A UKULELE

Don kindly send me in this playlist of Carnival 2010 Videos, so you can while away an hour or two … Thanks Don.  YOUTUBE

From Tess : A short write up on Caniço’s carnival. What better way to laugh away the rain than to bring in the clowns?

Many thanks to Elaine once again for some snippets and yesterday’s top news stories :

Some odd links today.

Slideshow of the cortejo Trapalhão

An extensive personal blog about his love of wine, including Madeira Wine and his satisfaction with tasting different (expensive) ones. An Ounce of Madeira, A Step Back in Time. ….However, while I admit to approaching wine with the erudition and delicacy of Fred Flintstone, I do have a confession to make. I have acquired a grape-based guilty pleasure that has, somehow, managed to make me into a full-on, hardcore, lover of wine; a connoisseur, aficionado, and unabashed lover of a particular kind of wine you may have never heard of. It’s called Madeira, and it changed my life…..

Is this how us punters are conned? Selling sweet wines. …If clients are hesitating when recommended a wine, give them a drop to taste. It costs almost nothing to offer 1 or 2 cl but it works well. Especially if there is a couple and you give the lady to try the sweet wine (women usually can’t resist sweet wine ;o)). After seeing her face begging for more of that, the gentlemen on the other side of the table has no changes to back off from ordering it … MORE

A factual account of Madeira. Perpetual Traveller. Funchal. The island of Madeira belongs to Portugal, but thanks to the special statute it was given, since 1976 it has been autonomous from an administrative point of view. It is a beautiful island, with a constant spring climate that attracts tourists all year round. It has wild and harmonious vegetation, jagged coastlines and enthralling, breathtaking panoramas. MORE

DIÁRIO 17/02/2010


Ferry delayed by a 4 hour wait for the berth to be free. The Administration of Harbours decided to keep the 138 passengers who had sailed for 24 hours from Portimão on board the ferry "Volcan de Tijarafe waiting. The ferry was to berth only after the AIDAluna left at 17.00 to leave a vacant space for the Lobo Marinho. The captain of the ferry had reported a delay in the arrival to Madeira which was originally scheduled for 13.00 but now expected at 17.00. Despite the forecasted delay, the ferry passed the Ponta de São Lourenço at 13.00, so the captain decided to slow down and take four hours over a journey normally taking 45 minutes. The sailing of the AIDAluna was delayed by an hour as there was a problem in removing the portaló (gangplank to the entrance?). Then the pilot had problems climbing aboard the Volcan de Tijarafe due to high waves. The ferry docked at 17.45 and sailed again at 20.20 with 64 passengers, a further delay due to a damaged machine. The Porto Santo Line had originally cancelled yesterday’s trip but improvements in sea conditions and the reduction in wind speed allowed the ferry to sail at 12.00 and leave Porto Santo at 19.00 with 450 passengers.

Madeira lost 117,000 tourists in 2009. The region lost 117,000 tourists and 693,000 overnight stays resulting in a reduction in revenue of 42 million Euros. There were 9.1% fewer tourists than the previous year and a 11.2% reduction in the number of nights stayed. The average stay lasted 5.2 nights, the worst figure since the record of 6.7 nights in 2000. There was a sharp increase, 18.1%, in the number of overnight stays by Portuguese last year but they are less profitable visitors as the average stay lasted 2.8 nights. The Portuguese secured 16.3% of all overnight stays, an increase from 13.3% in 2000. The loss in revenue to Madeira, amounting to more than 115,000 Euros per day, shows the region is loosing competitiveness. December was the worst month with only 34% occupancy and the annual occupancy rate was 52.1%. The worst months are the first four in the year and November and December. Last year, the average decrease in international tourism was 4% and the only region to increase tourism was Africa (5.1%). The decrease in values for different areas were: Europe 5.6%, Asia and the Pacific 1.9%, Americas 5.1% and 5.6% in the Middle East. 


Câmara de Lobos joins the Wine Association. This is the third county in the region to join the Associação de Municípios Portugueses do Vinho (AMPV). The other two counties are Porto Moniz and São Vicente. Since the AMPV was formally established, it has more than six dozen associated municipalities. Câmara de Lobos has been traditionally associated with viticulture and is responsible for more than half the annual production of Madeira Wine.

President of the Taxi Association assaulted. The President of AITRAM was attacked by a former head of the association. He was sworn at whilst in the Dolce Vita mall then punched in the face. He left but was pursued and took refuge in the interior of a company in Rua dos Aranhas, where he was assaulted. People came to his rescue and he went to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. When the police arrived at the scene, the alleged aggressor had disappeared.

São Vicente will have a carta de risco (risk charter). The physician-mayor of this municipality will have a risk document drawn up even if it is "politically expensive". There will be restrictions on constructions, especially in areas close to streams. The initiative comes from a history of disasters occurring in winter, particularly in 1979 when people died after being buried in landslides.The council will enlist experts in the areas of civil engineering, geology and hydraulics and the recommendations will be incorporated into the revised Municipal Plan, PDM.  A ‘carta de risco’ outlines natural hazards that can occur, the prevention and repair of damage, civil protection plans and implementation of systems for monitoring events and alerting people. Planning, land use and conservation of the environment are a prime target for study.

Infiltrations in the Bairro da Nazaré. For over 20 years, residents in the social housing complex in the neighbourhood of Nazaré in Funchal have complained of rain entering the apartments. A resident complained he had spent 500 Euros in an attempt to fix the problem and had to replace a water damaged washing machine and refrigerator. On the top floor, a middle-aged couple no longer bother to have the damage repaired because the same problem recurs. Residents have notified the IHM, responsible for the building, but they visit then say they have too many repairs to do.


Benjamin Marques in focus in Madeira International Art Biennial. The Biennial will open on June 15th and the works of art will be displayed over several areas. This year it will pay homage to the Portuguese artist Benjamin Marques with a display of eight of his works. This is the third edition of this arts exhibition and the inauguration will be held at the Casa da Luz (Electricity Museum) on June 15th. The event ends on July 31st. The works and artists will also be represented in other areas of Madeira: from June 18th at the Casa de Cultura de Santana; from 24th June at the Casa da Cultura de Santa Cruz and at the Library of Estreito and Civic Centre of Ponta do Pargo, at dates to be announced. The photo is one of the works of Benjamin Marques in the collection titled, Géologie.


CDS-PP and PS want to know when the new hospital is to be built. A previous request by the CDS-PP for a meeting of the parliamentary Committee on Health and Social Affairs with the Regional Secretary for Social Affairs was rejected by the PSD. The CDS-PP now request a meeting with the Secretary for Social Affairs, the Director of the Hospital Dr. Nélio Mendonça, the Director of SESARAM, Trade Unions and the Order of Doctors to clarify the date of commencement of construction of the new hospital in Funchal and other issues. A socialist councillor stated that the health of patients in Madeira is not a priority for the government of the PSD-M. Otherwise they would have already built a new central hospital instead of spending money on a golf course at Calheta (17 million Euros, only the first phase), tennis courts and more roads and tunnels. The centrists are concerned about  the climate of persecution that lives in the Regional Health Service, with constant conflicts between doctors and nurses, the Clinical Director of the Hospital, SESARAM and the Trade Unions of the Health Professionals. The two opposition parties express concern over the debt of the service, the budget of 323 million Euros and debts in payments to suppliers and banks as well as more than 80 million Euros owed to the National Association of Pharmacies. Marmeleiros Hospital and the Health Centre of Bom Jesus are obsolete and there have been complaints from doctors about lack of medicines and hospital beds.



Medical records online. The medical records of users of the health service will be online by the end of this year. Thus, doctors may have access to them at any hospital or health centre in the region. The emergency department of the hospital and the health centres have computerized records but they are presently not all connected on the same system. This will save both time and cost as the doctor can see the medical history, latest information and tests carried out.

Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :

Today’s main news headline : War of the posters without solution – The agreement in Funchal failed. The BE and PCP only take down their [political] posters when the council stops using their electronic displays. This story has been kicking around since last year at least, and I really can’t be bothered to read it again. The communists / other parties, who entered into an agreement last year to restrict their political propaganda posters in Funchal, particularly in the tourist areas (below Cota 40), noticed that the ruling Social Democrats in the council were using the electronic street display boards (public property) to spread their political propaganda instead, wherever and whenever they wanted. End of agreement of course, and the BE and PCP still have posters up and have no intention of removing them.

The sea swallows the coast – The transgressive phenomenon is a reality for Madeira and Porto Santo.

Madeira left in the dark – Thunderstorm caused the black-out. Rui Rebelo, president of the Electricity Company of Madeira said that the bad weather that caused the power cut was felt especially on the north coast, and had caused "an atmospheric discharge that focused on the 60 Kw lines" leading to the automatic shutdown of electrical systems for safety reasons. Rui says that in these circumstances the reactivation of the electricity takes some time because it is necessary to restore the electricity in a phased manner. Well actually it was just after day-break, which was quite handy. I was without ‘luz’ for around half an hour I think, but as the mains-powered digital clock stopped, it is difficult to be absolutely sure. The article says it was out nearly an hour, but the entity upstairs keeps an eye out for me, and must have realised that my early morning cup of tea was lacking.

Low visibility at Madeira Airport – Flights have been cancelled and planes have been obliged to divert. The Porto Santo ferry, Lobo Marinho, cancelled its voyage. Wind and rain, but mostly poor visibility caused the problems at the airport, and 3 flights were cancelled up to the time of the Diário report, and another 7 diverted, two of which, coming from Stanstead and Amsterdam went to Faro.

More than 14 thousand unemployed – Madeira records the biggest increase in the country compared to the same period in 2009. The latest figures have been released by the Institute of Employment on Madeira, and show a horrifying increase of 45.3% January to January, when there were 14,432 registered unemployed. The Algarve came a close second with 43.7%, and the Azores third with 38.2%. In terms of annual average statistics, there were increases registered in all the regions of Portugal. The highest was in the north of Portugal (11%), and Madeira with 7.6% was one of the lower statistics. That latter figure I find hard to believe, as a quick calculation implies that there must be 176,000 people working here in a population of around 260,000. Perhaps it is my maths that needs closer scrutiny?

Ribeira Brava will try out ‘Census 2011’ in March. The Pilot Survey will be held all over the country from March 1 to May 31. We are now entering the final stage of preparing for the 2011 Census. According to the website of the Regional Directorate of Statistics of Madeira (DRE), the "dress rehearsal" for the actual operation of the census will take place from the 1st of March, in the municipality of Ribeira Brava. 30 interviewers will be recruited by the DRE and NSI and then will be sent to the towns of Ribeira Brava (16 interviewers), Serra d’Água (3), Tabua (3), and Campanário (8), so that within three months they can collect "thorough data on the Buildings, Accommodation, Families and Individuals." The collection of information for statistical purposes should be made face to face with the population.

Madeiran wins slot in television series – Joana Ponte is a vampire in the series ‘Lua Vermelha’ [Red Moon]. I haven’t watched this series on SIC, but a few days ago I saw a bit when channel hopping, and it looked quite interesting. But if SIC wanted to recruit for monster / weirdo roles in the series, surely Uncle Bertie would have been the first choice. He has nothing else constructive to do, and he wouldn’t even need any make-up. If that doesn’t get me deported, then I reckon I am safe here for the rest of my days!


The main sport / football headline today : Intelligence of Rúben decisive in the victory – The Madeiran made the difference again, even weakened. In the end he shone. And what an unusual winning goal it was he set up, as Porto beat Arsenal 2 – 1 in the Champions League knock-out game. The visitors manager Arsenal Whinger was moaning about it on the news this morning, saying that the referee should have given a penalty to Porto, not an indirect free kick. What planet is that bloke from? Benfica play tonight in Germany. It’s on SIC at 8 pm.

If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link. All contributions much appreciated. 

If you can, please contribute something Madeira related. A funny story or good or bad experience, a news item, or a story from a Madeira newspaper, a photo or video, a teaser, news of a bargain flight or item in a supermarket. Please help keep this blog going … without user contributions it won’t survive. Please don’t send in automatic translations (like Google translator) without checking them through and correcting them first, thanks.

You can email [email protected] with any large contributions and photos / videos.


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The headline news & other snippets reviewed here on the blog are mainly from the Diário de Notícias of Madeira, although news from any source is used and welcome.

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10 thoughts on “117 thousand tourists lost in 2009 ; Sao Vicente to prepare risk plans ; Other news headlines”

  1. Does that mean that by rights, George Formby should have been singing,
    “Quando estou a limpeza de janelas…”?

    [did laugh at your giving birth line, Der… ouch]

  2. Thank you Becky, that doesn’t happen much these days.

    “Quando estou a limpeza de janelas…”?

    That depends if you are washing them or cleaning them. Strictly speaking “Quando estou a lavar as janelas…”? for example in Portuguese you wash yer teeth, not clean them

    I have just tried that line, and it does work in the song though!

  3. Only rain Tobi!
    Here in Ford Anglia we have freezing fog and it is bl**************y cold indoors let alone outside.
    Our boiler is on full chat and the AGA has packed up.
    I’m wearing a scarf indoors!!
    The heater valve on the car will only give half heat.
    Sausages sausages sausages , bacon and eggs, except we can’t cook until sunday when the repair man comes.
    As it’s Lent and the cooker’s packed up we have started a diet to lose about 6 stone between us.
    So perhaps we are suffering devine intervention.
    It’s like quantative easing but by a different deity!

  4. The English Church has an appeal to create 15 allegoric stations along a new garden pathway relating to Christ’s death.

    For 400E you can sponsor one of these 15 stations and have have your own PLAGUE, according to Sam Gammon who wrote the interesting article in February’s BRIT.
    I can’t think of the sort of disease I would prefer!

  5. The people who run the English Church obviously don’t know there is a recession on, they are asking also for €50,000 for a new garden!!!! Ridiculous, over the top spending…………

  6. Der, the figures suggest around 70,000 not available for work ie 27% population. That is nearly all under 16 and over 64, according to last year’s statistics – 75,867. Therefore, they are saying almost everyone between 15 and 64 are employable!

  7. Thank you Tobi —- we’re still here but have been somewhat busy trying to keep guests dry, entertained and happy – and just when we thought we had two days orft the heavens opened again – and some! Still at least the wind was from a different direction…….I just love the tourist bus that proclaims in yellow that “Madeira is Sun……..”!

    Thanks to everybody for keeping us up to date with matters a la Madeira, good work. We’ll “chip in” again soonest………well done bloggers.

  8. Hi All , totally agree about the English Church they only want your money is very clicky and thats one of the reasons i dont go , im not a rich brit…

    More heavy rain is forecast for Saturday with big waves so i guess there will be more damage in the usual coastal places…

    Glad to here your both well Jon.

  9. Hope the weather sorts itself out by next Friday as I’m over for the weekend before I need to get back for a crucial work day on Monday 1st March… bottom line is, NOTHING can happen to the airport or flights in terms of cancellations on that Sunday or I am completely and utterly screwed!

    Oh well, a lot can happen in a week… sun? More rain? Snow? Will try not to panic and go and wash my teeth before bed. (Thanks Der for the correction).


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