Vice President believes tourism is booming!

Calado considers Madeira still in demand

Tourism in Madeira as tourist visit a viewpoint at Cabo GiraoThe Diario reports that the increasingly high-profile Vice-President of the Regional Government attended the 49th-anniversary ceremony of the Madeira Barmen Association yesterday and made a point of highlighting the good momentum of the tourism sector. “This year and next year there will continue to be hotel units opening in Madeira. There are investors who are still looking for Madeira” he said.

“Tourism is booming and when they talk about tourism, don’t forget to compare it with what happens in other places”, said Pedro Calado. He regrets that a decrease of 1% in Madeira “is the source of great news”, whilst in the Canary Islands, on the mainland or elsewhere “it is 4, 5 or 8%”.

This blog doesn’t want to disagree with the Vice President, but reliable sources put tourist numbers in the Canaries down by around 2.7%, and the Balearics 2.3%.  Portugal overall is actually up 0.4% according to figures published just days ago. The Tunisian Ministry of Tourism said tourists arriving in Tunisia in the first quarter of 2019 represented an increase of around 17.4% compared to the same period in 2018, whilst tourism in Turkey was up 21% in 2018. In recent years Madeira has benefitted from both of the latter tourist destinations suffering high profile terrorist acts, but as memories fade tourists are drifting back in larger numbers because of the cheap cost of living just outside the Eurozone.

Other destinations do not have the bad publicity surrounding the frequent closure of Madeira airport due to high winds, and endless screenshots of flights circling the airport on countless numbers of websites (less frequently here!). This does affect potential visitors perceptions of Madeira, where a number of low-cost operators have also disappeared in recent years, most notably Monarch, but also Germania and Air Berlin. This has allowed other airlines and tour companies to increase prices. At the same time TAP seem to be getting a reputation for treating the island with contempt, regularly cancelling Lisbon flights with short notice and no explanation – whilst this does not affect many British visitors, a lot of Northern Europeans rely on this connection to complete their journey to Madeira.

Factor in the good summer across northern Europe last year encouraging people to opt for a “staycation”, and of course the uncertainty associated with ubiquitous Brexit and the associated weakness of Sterling, and the outlook is not quite as bright, in my opinion, as the Vice President believes.

3 thoughts on “Vice President believes tourism is booming!”

  1. Modern day politicians seem to forget that the mass of factual information and social media activity make it less easy to pull the wool over the public eye. Madeira is internationally recognised as a superb destination but, as you point out, tumbling sterling, strong competition from the reviving markets you quote and issues with the airport will have a significant impact on visitor numbers. The airport accessability and TAP performance are matters that must be addressed by local and national politicians,


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