114 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 22.8.2020

Aug 23, 2020 at 11:15 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We met in the gallery again, this time without watching a video clip because Cl. and U. couldn’t find anything fitting for the topic so we used the courtyard, with plenty of space and fresh air, right away.

We had a guest for this session. Dorita Mendonça, the Director of our Tourism Board who was recently confirmed to her position for another three years. Politicians may come and go quickly, but the administrators who are doing the work, are in the job for much longer.

The Topic was Long-Term Tourism, based on the assumption hat Tourism on the island will not return to the pre-pandemic level.

Cl’ intention is to find a long-term solution, things have to change for the hotels now so that in one year’s time, when the Pandemic will have abated, the hotels are set up to accommodate a more special type of tourism. Political shifts in other countries, such as a turn to the left in Germany (elections are in 12 months’ time) may also contribute, if people decide that their CO 2 output has to come down. They can do that by amongst other things, by flying less.

The missing ferry is another big problem. There are now many passenger ships (including ro-ro ferries) on the market, and due to a lower demand, many of them are going to be scrapped. Even so, if we had 5 Mio (which Ronaldo spent on his new yacht), such ships, about to be scrapped, would be more expensive.

M. spoke to somebody in the Sousa group, he said that a new cargo ship is much less expensive (around 20 Mio€) than a passenger ship (around 80 Mio €), M. suggested a mixed type; even this would be more expensive

Another obstacle to turn the market toward long term health tourism, is the lack of nurses on the island. Hopefully many nurses who were hired away to the UK, might return due to Brexit, even if they earned less here. In our favour: The Madeirans have strong roots on the island.

In total, we need emphasize out there that Madeira is a safe destination. The Tourism board has a new word for Madeira; it is a “refreshing” destination.

J. is pleading for less but better Tourism. Their B & B is basically four stars and offers an tailored service, that is not common and attracts many tourists, even in a crisis.

S. came up with the idea that we could have a “fly and vaccinate” programme: tourists from other countries come here, get their shot (we ought to have a vaccine by December), rest a bit, and then return to their home country.

The obstacle to a change in our tourism industry will be that people do not want to change, they want things to return to the way they were, and Hoteliers are human beings. The Covid crises should convince them that something must change, and soon, otherwise they’ll go down. ACIF could hold a conference and make them see that they must adapt to a new concept to be able to survive. It would be good if big hotels would adapt their hotels to a medical, long-term tourism concept or to Senior Citizen’s homes; this would take pressure out of the market for all the other units competing for tourists.

It is to be noted that the IASaude team at the airport is doing a great job in finding the infected travellers!

 

Other stuff:

D. & P., our former members, now living in Tavira, have found a buyer for their lavender farm in Tabua; they will be here by the end of the month, so if you want to catch up with them, feel free to ask U. for their number!

 

A new see-through mask can be found here:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/aug/20/deaf-people-mask-wearing-lipreading (not for sale here yet).

Our next meeting should be on Sept 19, but the date has yet to be fixed

 

 

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