TUI Director expresses concern about tourism

Airport contingency plan required

JM reports that Ana Barbosa, TUI’s director of operations for Madeira and Porto Santo, has expressed her concern about the constraints of Madeira Airport, which is partly the cause of the drop in the number of flights.

She has clearly in agreement with this blog as, speaking in the panel on the theme of Tourism, in the Parliamentary Days of the PS, the official defended the importance of the contingency plan to cope with the conditions of Madeira Airport, pointing out that an alternative is needed, which passes through Porto Santo – an option that has been promoted here for many years. In addition, when Funchal airport is closed, Ana Barbosa understands that there is to create exceptional conditions within the infrastructure itself, such as keeping restaurants and other services open all night to respond to customers.

Again, concurring with views expressed here, she also criticized the lack of strategy and control over the emergence and construction of new hotels, considering that too many beds could cause a “price war” and points out that such a price drop could have a detrimental effect on the perception of destination quality and the level of the typical customer looking for the Region.

Worrying scenario for tourism

For his part, PS (Socialist) Deputy Sérgio Gonçalves addressed the conjuncture that the tourism sector is going through, which points to a worrying scenario, accounting for the drop in the number of tourists, overnight stays and the Revenue per room. The parliamentarian listed some of the facts that contribute to this reality, pointing out the slowdown of the issuing markets, the “Brexit” and the slowdown of the German economy.

Paradoxically, he pointed to increased supply (bed numbers) as a concern. He also defended the importance of the requalification of the destination and the updating of the strategic documents, the implementation of measures and the definition of concrete objectives.

“Excess of hotel beds in the Region”

Raul Gonçalves, director of the Quinta da Serra Hotel in Jardim da Serra, addressed the differentiating factor of the unit he runs. As explained, this is the only hotel in Madeira whose restoration has a biological certification. Being a hotel that practices organic farming, it is also the largest employer in the parish of Jardim da Serra.

The official also stressed the importance of maintaining the genuineness of units like this, which always tries to involve the tourist with the local community.

At another level, he also pointed to the problem of airport constraints, the lack of skilled labour and the excess of hotel beds in the Region. Again, another subject this blog has been tediously banging on about for a number of years


11 thoughts on “TUI Director expresses concern about tourism”

  1. I have never understood why they continue to build more and more hotels when there is clearly not the demand for more rooms. This will all end in tears when loans cannot be repaid by the developers.

  2. At the same time, there has been a huge increase in the number of apartments rented as local lodgings. Everybody thinks there is a quick Euro to be made, but not when there is over-supply and falling demand.

  3. We have been visiting Madeira every year for more than 30 years. In the early days when development was progressing, we were always being told about the ceiling cap on the number of beds which would be allowed on the island to maintain its “ special destination”.
    Then came the boom, new hotels going up everywhere and gradually that specialness has been eroded.
    We are still regular visitors and we continue to hope that building will stop, the airport problem will get fixed, and we can enjoy our special home from home.

  4. Another factor which nobody has mentioned is the huge increase in air fares after so many operators have gone bust! More competition needs to come back into the market.

  5. I couldn’t agree more the sentiments expressed in this article. A “beds” price war would be disastrous for Madeira. It would send the island on a downward spiral as a quality destination from which it would never recover.

  6. It must have been a bit of a ” Road to Damascus ” moment for the Island’s politicians in the last few weeks, from everything rosy in the tourist garden pre-election to being informed the opposite by those ” in the know” at the frontline of the industry. Perhaps something for us UK citizens to ponder as we’re being promised ” Glad tidings of prosperity and joy ” in the run up to our Christmas Brexit election !!

    I would thank Admin for publishing these ” negative ” tourism stories and making me realise that I “shouldn’t have gone to Spec-savers ” as I wasn’t seeing things when I viewed air fares for my next planned visit or not seeing as many tourists in my last stay !! They do in-fact, reflect what many of us have felt for some time and at last we can possibly refrain in chanting the ‘Clintonesque’ statement ” It’s the Airport, stupid !

    I know to baulk at progress is to invite being dubbed a Dinosaur, and fair enough we cannot stop progress but for this Dinosaur who first wandered past Banana plantations and Canna lilies west of the Lido, as he roamed towards the watering holes of Granny’s and the Summertime 24 years ago I always felt Madeira had the ” goose that laid the golden egg ” as a holiday destination.
    It was quaint, quirky ,quiet and a quintessential example of a beautiful holiday destination – those ‘Q’s added up to Quality. A holiday maker was a guest, a returning guest was almost a VIP and there was a feel of exclusivity to your presence on the Island. Nowadays we all seem to branded as tourists and in some establishments sadly a “punter” – I stress that is a generalisation an not a comment on any of the hotels.
    Today I feel that Golden Egg laying has been replaced by the seemingly more profitable Foie-gras production where the goose is almost force fed an ever increasing amount of tourists – maybe not the best of analogies but the point, as some comments have suggested, Quality and Quantity vary rarely go hand in hand.

    • Agree totally. I remember all the homes and banana plots that were swept aside so more hotels could be built. We avoid the Lido/Ajuda area now as they have been subject to so much development. Thankfully we have access to apartamento in the Zona Velha.

      The Azores have thankfully avoided falling into the same trap and are more like Madeira was 24 years ago.

  7. Thank you admin this post is important

    On another subject. Can anyone tell me why one (or more?) of the cruise ships were playing a musical tune yesterday early evening?


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