115 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 18.9.2020

Sep 20, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We met in the gallery again, with our new member M. J.

We returned to the topic of alternative tourism and had another guest for this session, R. B. who until January, owned several hotels in Canico.  We had very good input from him but with the current situation, he is of the opinion that before 2022, nothing will improve.

Madeira has an influx of younger tourists (even honeymooners) who enjoy the island; this is positive for Madeira because with Covid, older people now hesitate to travel.

The Obstacles:

  • Groups are difficult to get at this time, too
  • The flights are not there, and the airlines are not reliable
  • Plans cannot be made at the time.
  • Hotels do not yet see the depth of the crisis, and everyone wants to hold onto what they have. Their outlook will only change when they see that other hotels are dying.

BUT Money is there… and the marketing would not be that difficult, especially if an insurance company just sends their clients over.

We need to think about good solutions now to prepare actions and be able to implement them later.

Alternative tourism can have

  1. Residential Tourism – turn a hotel into “propriedade horizontal” :this relieves the hotels sector of pressure and helps maintain the RevPar
  2. Health Tourism – not great for our island, there is a lot of high-class competition all over the world
  3. Senior Citizens Homes – Dilectus is an example of a modern ”Lar”. Hotels would need to be adapted to this type of use, that may be costly but again, it would take a weight out of the hotel sector

Option 4

Alternative Tourism can also focus on health problems which do not require intensive medical intervention.

AltT needs many services:

  • Good location: experiences on the mainland have shown that a location in Town (Portimao) is well accepted but a spot far from town in the beautiful countryside (costa Vincentina) does not attract travelers
  • Health care: doctors and nurses who are fluent in the guests’ language
  • Parks or gardens to walk
  • Exercise programs, the guests need to be kept busy all day
  • Art classes to find another expression in life
  • events that create community such as singing
  • Taking part in sustainable agriculture and planting programs

There could be a cooperation with private insurance companies such as HM Germany or the Red Cross Germany. We would need to ask them if we could receive from them low-maintenance patients’ groups, such as

  • burn-out patients
  • depressed persons
  • recovering alcoholics

The hotels in Canico had extensive experiences with alternative tourism, they offered

  • Ayurveda treatment
  • Fruit fasting
  • Walking groups
  • What can also be done: walking through a banana plantation, harvesting lavender, planting trees.

What we need to offer:

On Madeira, we would have to have an incoming agency to organize the hotel rooms and services. The programs have to be of high and continuous quality. An insurance company might want the therapists to have licenses. Investors will need guarantees to come if, for example, we set a program for 200 rooms but we guarantee 100 rooms occupancy. ROI must be 4 – 5%

A hotel could give a contingent of 30% to such a contract, and the effect should be that the pressure is taken out of the hotel market, by attracting other clients and filling the beds with clients who come her for 4 – 6 weeks at a time (lower CO2).

The first step would be to ask, for instance, HM Germany for the type of groups they might want to send to Madeira. Then we would have to find the rooms with hotels willing to change their strategy in order to survive, and an incoming agency which could organize the service.

Options 1 and 3 would give the most relief to the hotel sector, and the staff would find work in the long-term residential units as well. Private local schools could set up programs for training for higher-value jobs in the area.

This was not an easy meeting because the subject was too broad, and also not an optimistic one. We need to ignore the heavy economical burden Covid places on the island (as is does everywhere else) and still maintain an optimistic outlook, at least for 2022, to work successfully on such ideas. (Ursula’s opinion)

Many thanks to Mr. B., for his input!

 

Other stuff:

U. entered the “Free the birds” campaign idea into the orçamento participativo in Funchal (the Government orçamento turned it down). Let’s see what happens!

The TEDX Funchal will take place on Oct 10 but only virtual and for free, here: www.naminhaterra.com

Alé Hop (the shop with the cow in Anadia Shopping) is selling visors with a sponge to avoid pressure on the forehead.

We now have a solar-powered catamaran on the North coast of the island: https://ondasolartours.com/

 

 

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