123 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 27.11.2021

Nov 29, 2021 at 9:25 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We watched this talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_katz_the_surprising_solution_to_ocean_plastic/up-next#t-546346   (The website is here: https://plasticbank.com/)

In poor countries, the Plastic Bank receives litter from poor people and gives them credit in form of useful items for their daily lives. The Social Plastic collected is given to the big plastic “consumers” like Shell, BP and they re-introduce it  into the production of plastic bottles for shampoo etc.
Also regarding this topic: a documentary Karen found about the actual ocean clean-up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNk7wO9DUeM

Another outfit is Litterati:

https://litterati.org/

The members pick up litter piece by piece and document it in an App. An amazing amount of litter is this removed, and the app users feel a sense of accomplishment.

This means that plastic waste is redefined not as rubbish but as primary source of product. Western countries used to send their excess waste to China and other countries, officially for recycling but really for dumping. China has already started to refuse such shipments. Now western countries have to find other ways to re-use their rubbish. Burring it may produce electrify (as in Madeira) but it also releases CO2. This gas could be captured in the burning process and compacted, to be turned into tiles and similar products. Still a step that needs to be done. It will cost money and that is where public knowledge needs to increase. Rubbish recycling is essential but we will have to pay for it

Our Supremo Shop in Funchal is going from plastic packaging to bulk storage for dried fruits, and selling the products un-packaged. Customers will have to bring their own containers.

There is already such a shop in the Old Mercado in Ribeira Brave “Unverpackt Laden”

We have doubts that Shell and BP will really go through with it and reintroduce Social Plastic in the production; on their side, this may be gimmick publicity. With big business, corruption may be strong, undermining any good intentions.

Like these big players, non-profits managers may have hefty salaries but they have to be paid well to work the non-profits at all.

Crowd-funding also had a noble goal in the beginning and is turning more and more into a business with profits.

Anything with the label “nature” or “bio” may be false, because these words cannot be protected as a brand (and they shouldn’t be gobbled up by just one company).

In any case, we do have honest people in the “bio” business, also on the island.  But subsidies also corrupt the agriculture; farmers are being paid just to keep their land fallow. At some point, the EU may become dependent on other countries to supply enough food.

COP26 has shown that youngsters are starting to take part in politics. There is an European initiative that they should be able to vote as of the age of 16. They can then exert more pressure to avoid the climate catastrophe.

122 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 23.10.2021

Oct 24, 2021 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We met in the Gallery as usual and watched this talk:

The Talk is about the fact that we define Nature too narrowly as a system that hasn’t been touched by humans. Nature can include reforested and replanted areas; new ecosystems develop in such areas as well. Weed is not necessarily bad.

C. said that Cistercian and Franciscan monks in the middle age, who farmed large spaces of land for the church, were instructed to leave a third of the land “wild”

In Germany, the farmers are instructed to leave the side-lines of their fields untamed so that wild plants can grow there and provide at least a small space for insects and other wildlife to settle there.

Rewilding:

Here is a link with more information:

https://rewildingeurope.com

In Portugal, a space on Vale do Côa is supposed to be re-wilded

https://rewilding-portugal.com/pt/oeste-iberico/

It makes no sense to cut trees into shapes, just because we find it better. Trees should grow unhindered in the shape they need to be in.

Apple trees should be used to grow apples for juice, if they cannot be eaten. This potential should not go to wasted even if the product is a bit more expensive.

The other issue the speaker has is that children like to have wild nature to touch it and be in it. They have a right to find such spaces, not to be confined to State parks where they cannot interact with nature because it has to be protected. If humans interact with nature, they do so as a part of nature.

The Plumbago at the entrance of the Gallery is such a “wild space”.

There used to be many partridges on the island as well as rabbits and ferrets. They used to be hunted. Now, rabbits were re-introduced in the forest, only in order to be fodder for hunting…

Invasive species can be bad (the eucalyptus seeds are bad, and the trees grab too much water) but they also may very well turn out to become a blessing later (medicinal plants, protection for trees against specific insect threats etc).

Climate Change:

The 2021 COP – United Nations Climate Change Conference – will take place on Oct 31 in Glasgow. Avaaz will certainly ask for signatures or donations to pressure World Leaders to do something useful about the problem (I will forward the Avaaz message to you when it comes around, Ursula)

Russia and China didn’t get the message yet but more and more industry leaders are talking about strategies that respect nature and include it in their development of new products.

It will come down that we’ll have to curtail our personal footprint as much as possible. Medium distance flights within a country, for example, will have to be forbidden.

Other stuff:

Portugal got some refugees from Afghanistan, the female musicians from Zohra orchestra. There is a link to one of their concerts:

121 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 25.9.2021

Sep 27, 2021 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We watched this talk:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1KmNKYC1l0stjctkGswl6g

This is quite a whopper, and the first 15 minutes were difficult, because the talk explains why populations go into mass psychoses. (The last 5 minutes are more optimistic.)

The talk explains how a population is being led by fear and manipulation to defer to the “elite” who rules over them. Social media as well as the Yellow Press support these changes. A new Hitler, in form of someone like Trump, may always creep up.

Such governing by the ruling class exploits the fact that we are social animals and need social structures. The Church and religions are structures. We are lucky to live in Europe where social structures still work.

Countries such as China rule by fear, whereas India, also a big country, is a democracy. Japan was seen as a threat to Europe decades ago, they are off the list now. It is not possible for Europe to ignore China; they are trying to take over power in Europe by economic means. It comes down to the way in which we are attentive.

Most of the European countries are ok, but Poland and Hungary are drifting toward totalitarianism.

We used to have three TV channels, now we have hundreds, plus the internet to manipulate the people.

Younger Tourists are coming now, they are the “me generation” and have a

worse attitude to the community. ”Thank you” is often not in their vocabulary (Our YouTubers have a better record.) So if we want to educate them, we can do it by saying “thank you”, then they might perceive that something is wrong in their behaviour.

Abbreviations in the communication via Smartphone result in the fact that the youngsters don’t know how to talk in whole sentences anymore. They lose the art of communication. Young people want to be seen in this system, so they try to show off only their best side, while they are emptier inside than before.

But there is hope: in the old movies, people were drinking alcohol, smoking inside, and sexist attitudes towards women were the norm. All these attitudes are now out, and society keeps evolving.

Still, children should have the right to grow up for a few years without social media and smartphones (https://eliant.eu/en/news/newsletter-archive/how-can-europe-be-of-value-to-our-children-and-grand-children)  

The Talk ended on the tune that not being afraid is a good defence against totalitarianism, as well as ridicule and laughter. (Trump still has this coming to him). Parallel societies within such a dominated society can keep up individualism and reduce fear-based attitudes.

Following rules: The group thinks that things are good in Madeira and that it doesn’t hurt to keep the restrictions on the island longer because if the upcoming flower & wine festival.

Other stuff:

The “Mamma” Museum by Rui Sá is open www.mamma.museum.com  (5€ entrance for Residents), it’s small, a bit overloaded but interesting. There are goods from Quinta Pedagogica in the Museum shop on sale.

120 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 24.7.2021

Jul 25, 2021 at 10:40 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We watched this TED talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/bunker_roy_learning_from_a_barefoot_movement#t-1096676    (NGO website: https://www.barefootcollege.org/)

A very inspiring (old) story about a movement in India, which spread to other countries, to use local talents to electrify villages by solar power and organize a better life for the villagers on all levels, mainly be empowering the women.

The talk was proposed by U. who feels that after the Pandemic, people did not get to be more empathic or supportive but more egoistic.

The Barefoot Village approach cannot be transplanted to other, more developed countries, it only works in certain places.

We didn’t want to speak about Covid but we ended up speaking about the Pandemic. Some members of the group have the impression that especially young people sacrificed to help older people get through the Pandemic safely so they are not more egoistic, they did their part. We also spoke about the resistance by some to be vaccinated as this is an important tool to get group immunity at some time. It was also pointed out that some churches are telling their flock not to be vaccinated (not the Anglican Church). The impression was that many people decided to “wait and see”, and that many of them will change their idea and decide to get vaccinated later.  

The most important argument for vaccination is for people to get more freedom back, such as travelling without hassle and going to concerts etc. In any case, it is a proof of solidarity to be vaccinated.

Vaccination may be made compulsory, some countries are discussing this, at least for certain professions.

It is important that the “rest of the world” gets vaccinated as well, some western countries are now starting to donate vaccines to third world countries – very late. We will pay the price for this with more variants coming up.

An interesting thought: C. said that WWII would have happened in a different way, if Facebook, Twitter etc had existed then. The voiced opposition of many people would have been detrimental to ending the war. Winning against the German might have been harder, if people had had such a big forum to disagree with measures.

It is important that a population can trust in the Government and in this Pandemic, most of the Governments did not perform well. Hindsight, to be fair, is always cleverer.

Also, we might be too comfortable in Europe with our way of life. We are complaining on a high level, compared to third world countries.

The EU: Poland and Hungary are not in conformity with EU regulations, they don’t respect and support the community. We have to hope that the Governments there will change, to get a better cooperation from them. There is no mechanism to throw these countries out of the EU.

The UK: Claus said that in the UK, persons can get “pinged” by an App, to go into quarantine because of a supposed Covid contact, with the Covid infected neighbour in the next apartment, even they didn’t meet with him. The UK now has empty shelves in the supermarkets, not because of Brexit but because so many people are in precaution-covid quarantine, that workers are not available to fill the shelves with goods.

For Madeira Island, tourists will continue to bring the disease; the higher case numbers are the price we have to pay to have tourism.

In any case, vaccinated persons have really much less change of a) getting the virus and of b) transmitting it to other people because their body does not provide a good environment for the virus to propagate.

Work: Going back to work is hard for some people, they are now used to being paid for sitting at home. Civil construction and restaurants are desperate to find willing workers. The Minimum Wage is always a problem, it is too low to offer people a decent way of living. Companies may not be able to afford a big increase, they might go out of business. It is a difficult line to walk.

It would be helpful for the population if daily costs went down. The only good action the Government in Portugal took in the last four years was to considerably lower the price of public transport. Instead of building bike lanes, they should lover the cost of electricity (which they are doing) and VAT (which is not going to happen); this would be helping the population best

So we closed on a somewhat positive outlook, that solidarity is here and that people are more helpful to each other that we can see

Other stuff:

Quinta Magnolia now houses an Art Gallery with modern art, go and have a look!

119 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 26.62021

Jun 27, 2021 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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The topic was Dumpster Diving.

We watched a talk by a youngster who learned of dumpster diving in the USA and then started it in Kopenhagen:

Additional info is here:

https://grist.org/food/food-waste-climate-change-too-good-to-go-dumpster-diving/?fbclid=IwAR2qxdbKLujrg0FSXaTW0oUDugDKQ6h8kpiigGBN8Z4U_LxXym1V-5f9R1M

and here

https://life.dn.pt/comida-lixo-desperdicio-alimentar/comportamento/350232/.

“Too good to go” also has a website in Portuguese, and we have some restaurants who participate, to avoid leftovers going to the dumpster here

https://toogoodtogo.pt/pt

The intention of the participating restaurants is to attract more business during normal hours, by showing the clients what they have after hours.

We talked about the food rubbish situation in Europe.

In some countries, it is forbidden; in others, it is in a grey zone.

France has a law that forbids supermarkets with more than 400m2 to dump food into containers, they have to donate it to charities or to companies who produce animal feed from it.

In our supermarkets, it seems that the problem of dumpster diving does not arise because the rubbish containers are in the supermarket back area, and outsiders do not have access to it.

Foodstuffs close to the expiry date are offered in Pingo Doce with an orange label for sale at reduced prices, this reduces waste (provided the buyers then eat it all).

Food waste in landfills produce a hight amount of Methane

Cl. said that the problem arises because we produce too much food for the demand. The supermarkets price in a loss of around 20% of foodstuffs due to expiry dates and freshness. Then they don’t mind that they have to throw food away. The consumer would have to accept that food is only produced in the quantity that will be needed (based on experience and sales numbers) And the food prices should be higher, to give an incentive to the consumer to buy only what he needs. But the consumer would not like to have less of a choice and would to go other shops.

It should be possible to have more of an in-time-delivery system for foodstuff as in the automotive industry, to avoid that food gets too old to be sold.

It will help that the state, in order to get more money, will add higher taxes on processed food which contain too much sugar, salt and fat.

The cost of transport is another waste-of-energy factor.

Farmer get subsidies in Germany if they leave a filed unfarmed, in order to curb overproduction in the country. Cl. said that farmers should even have to plant forests on the land, in order to offset the CO2 problem.

Quinta B doesn’t have a buffet, they serve the breakfast to order. Fruit that is not consumed gets turned inti delicious marmalade.

The Buffet in Quinta do Furão (the “leftover” from the Hotel guests) is offered to local guests at a reduced price, in order to avoid waste. The client do not get to serve themselves; the staff hands out the food and cooks eggs to order, so that what ends up on the plate, gets consumed.

Plates in general, should be smaller.

The homeless used to get “leftover” food from hotel buffets until this had to be cancelled due to Covid. Now a simple meal is offered in “CASA” at night, and “Sopa Cardoso” offers soups at lunchtime, and food bags which people can pick up. CASA and Caritas collect food in the supermarkets and pack baskets for needy families (these families have to register to be included)

Other stuff:

Freshbio (with happy chickens laying happy eggs) is at

http://www.freshbio.pt/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=19 .They deliver of baskets to your home and if somebody has a composter, they also collect fruit peels etc for composting.

118 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 22.05.2021

May 23, 2021 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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After a long break (since November), we finally had a meeting again in the Gallery.  

The Topic for this month was “Business Ethics”:

https: //www.ted.com/talks/alexander_wagner_what_really_motivates_people_to_be_honest_in_business

Alexander Wagner is a researcher and economist, the talk was interesting, even a bit uplifting, but it should have a had a psychological part as well which an economist cannot deliver.

Mr. Wager tested people on their ethics and found that they have “protected values” which the participants respect even if they forego a money gain if they ignore the values. Good news..

Business can give Rules of Good Conduct, or incentives which may backfire and lead people to digress, or they can hire god people who have these protected values.

He didn’t answer the question how to look into people’s brains and find out what their ethics are.

There were some big ethics failures in Companies, from BBC to Chernobyl, maybe now also AstraZeneca. Michael J said that the decision makers want to avoid being caught, and their good name is in danger if they get caught but everyone has a price. A coffee shop owner was put on display in 1990 in Portugal because he had overcharged 5 escudos to some clients, and still today, such a rip-off happens to tourists (or people who look like tourists) in small businesses. On the other hand, in Kenia, due to the Pandemic and the loss of tourism, local people pay less in tourist spots and learn to see the beauty of their land because the prices are affordable for them.

The big corporations have no such qualms, look at the German auto industry scam with the help from Bosch software. Darwin rules, it is a fight with the competition, and every company wants to survive and gain profits. Michael J say that the Devil made the 20th century …

How to counter such tendencies? By educating the children well and with a functioning religion.

People have become more egoistic, it is a “me” economy, self-care, especially for the young people. But in middle age, persons usually turn toward “inside” and perceive that egoism doesn’t serve them anymore

Christianity asks for sacrifices, for the good of others. We also spoke of confession. It is often misunderstood as a “carte blanche” which it isn’t. You are only forgiven in Confession if the priest believes you are repentant. Again, can we look into the person’s head?

Drug abuse has increased (although there always was alcohol abuse) because people don’t know their purpose in life. Contemplative prayer, which is being taught by Father Richard Rohr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Rohr ) to young priests, should also be done in church. (Listening prayer and contemplative practices are done in the Anglican Church.)

Cl. sad that studies showed that in all big world religions, suicide, drug abuse and adultery are evenly distributed, which shows that the big religions do not have the answers for these people. With our western lifestyle, pressure on people makes them do things they would not do if they didn’t have to feed a family and keep the job.

Cl. said that Codes of Conduct in companies are bullshit, they don’t work Banking is the worst cheating industry. And corruption is a slow process: people may start out optimistic in a company and slowly be converted by the company culture to accept wrong behaviour.

We have to make compromises in life. Cl. and K. want to visit their daughter in Germany and have to take the flight, although they would want to avoid the CO2 emission.

C. told the story that after the 2010 flood, people couldn’t use the tap water and Hiper Sà increased the price on bottled water. The people never forgot that behaviour and the company went down from then on.

But: There are positive economist models e.g. the Doughnut economy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doughnut_(economic_model)

Some cities (Amsterdam) are already using this model.

We also spoke about measuring the economy. We should get away from the Gross Domestic Product (in the Pandemic, the measure R(t) is not that important anymore, the number of intensive beds used it now more preside to measure the situation etc.)

The state of Bhutan makes surveys and uses a Happiness Index of their people, this is how the Government checks if it is doing a good job:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_National_Happiness

Madeira Consorcio – break

Jan 7, 2021 at 9:38 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We didn’t have a meeting in December, but a lovely Christmas Lunch and we won’t have one in January, either due to the higher Covid numbers.

We are planning to reunite with each other in …May. with luck!.

117 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 21.11.2020

Nov 23, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We had our meeting in the Gallery again.

The Topic for this month was “in Praise of Conflict” by Jonathan Marks:

We found many examples where, as the speaker said, the Government is collaborating with private companies, to the detriment of the tax payer. In Madeira, the Via Rapida was built 70 cm too small, and miraculously, the savings on material went into the construction of the Savoy hotel. Similar things happened on the mainland with the construction of the highways.

A construction company in Madeira removed rocks and sands out of the riverbeds for bulding. This was exposed in the Diario, and stopped. However, the Government should ask for payment for the material taken so far.

U. said that we as citizens should be more in control of government. The Diario used to report about court cases in the court in Ed 2000 building, they don’t do that anymore. But the Public should be there, to check up on the judges and the proceedings, and the newspapers should report about, for example, a delay  in procedure just because a lawyer failed to show up. We should challenge things, from sloppy service at Horarios do Funchal to the courts.

Cl. said that FB and Google need to be broken up because they cannot be controlled by the governments anymore

An ex-manager of Dupont, one of the biggest chemical companies in the world, has been nominated by president-to-be Biden to lead the environmental agency in his cabinet. Thus, the fox is let into the chicken coop. We should be wary of what Biden will do there.

We all admired the protesters in Belarus, Thailand and other countries who risk their lives and health for democracy. We in the west don’t have the need but might not have the stamina to do this.

We handed the control mechanism in our countries to the state, and the state is not fulfilling this role. Authorities must be challenged as well.

Altogether, as wars and conflict in third world countries persist, we shall have more and more refugees which have to be accepted by the advanced countries. If we let them in and give them work, they will want to succeed in the new country. Refugees challenge our status quo and create anxieties but they also contribute to a host country.

On the other hand, if the Syrians don’t manage to get rid of Assad, he will lay waste to the country. Because of dictatorships and cronyism, half of the world will be uninhabitable for normal people. Dictators need to go.

Democracies should not trade with these countries at all.

M. told the story that, some years ago, he paid an IMT of 10.000€ for a property purchase. The Tax office, however, had made a mistake; the amount was only to be 9300€. Instead of giving him 700€ back, they asked him to pay 9300€ again. He had to do this in order to proceed with the purchase of the property. They gave him the 10.000 € back much later. This, however may not be happening nowadays anymore.

In total, the old boys’ networks are still functioning. New competitors in the building sector, for example, cannot succeed because the old established companies are settled in with the Government.

The Government needs to be reminded that they work for us; it needs to be in conflict with private enterprises. Conflict is productive!

Other stuff:

U. entered the “Free the birds” campaign idea into the Orçamento Participativo in Funchal (the Government had already turned it down), it was turned down again. Will try to the Ornithological Society interested in it

116 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 17.10.2020

Oct 18, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We are now part of the TED Circle community in the World (https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/ted-circles), this is interesting as TED proposes 4 talks to the individual groups each month; we then choose one and use it as a basis for our discussions. We have used TED talks for some time now, and I have the feeling that TED is copying us in what we already did.

The Topic for this month was “Everyone’s Environment” and we watched Per Stokes at

He sketched 5 defences that people have to avoid doing something about climate change:  

Distance vs new social norms, such as adopting the use of solar panels in the home, as the neighbours are doing it, too

Doom vs supportive measures e.g. changes in lifestyle, eating vegetarian, not using the car, etc., recycling

Dissonance vs.  pointing out that climate change creates entire new job areas

Denial vs. transition to energy savings in each household

Identity vs. better Stories

Storytelling seems to be very important to people. He suggested a new story about climate, change, an image, really:

Climate is living air, the air that surrounds us, is a fragile skin for Earth. (5 – 7 miles thick /thin) and we we all breathe the same air all over the planet

The discussion was about how our changes in lifestyle could make a big difference, as in many countries in the world, especially emerging countries, haven’t got the luxury to try to stop climate abuse in their country, and they have the biggest growth in population and energy need.

Climate change will only work if countries like Brazil, Africa and India can create enough jobs for their populations.

Rich countries may be able to afford looking at it.

Ursula von der Leyen wants Europe to be a carbon-neutral continent by 2050.

Madeira is is ahead of Portugal mainland and other areas, we have around 27% renewable energy already, and many projects that will increase the percentage of climate friendly energy production.

Cl. is hopeful that Germany will be at the forefront of climate change. He thinks that the new government to be voted into office next year, will have the Green Party coming in. Green parties should be more prevalent in the EU governments.

The positive points:

Emerging countries can skip steps in their development, e.g. landlines were never an option in Africa, they went right to mobile networks. They can skip R & D costs.

Covid shut down countries for 2 months, if that can be done, climate change can be done as well. In needs goodwill.

“Social Distancing “should be called “solidarity distancing”,  “social Distancing” is at its root, unsocial; it separates people, and humankind is very social.

Such names are important: in South Africa, power cuts were called “power shedding”, to make these service shutdowns more amenable to the people.

What we could do:

We could dim the street lights a bit, we already have LEDs for Christmas decoration. Office buildings should not be lit dsring the night

Fireworks are a no-no, really.

The Madeira Government is doing a good job in education; the people to not dump “monsters” (old fridges, sofas etc) in the riverbeds anymore,.

An Eco-School has a deposit container for recycling but nobody considered that old people may not be able to open the trap doors on the containers because they are too high for them

Fines usually do the trick when the environment is being abused by the population. Barcelona hat a serious dog poo problem which has been solved because the fines are very high

Would it help if climate do-gooders tout their horn?

Cl. explained to us that the debt we are amassing via the European Bank (about 4000€/head) is really our debt because the bank is ours. One day, when inflation rises, the debt can be written off, and nobody will have to pay it because we can cancel it out. Money in itself has no value, it’s just in the books.

Other stuff:

U. entered the “Free the birds” campaign idea into the Orçamento Participativo in Funchal (the Government Orçamento turned it down). We’ll see which projects they chose on Oct 28.

There is a very charming Unusual Guide on corners in Funchal which are little known to the public, have a look. https://novemil.org/unusual-guide/

Nice tips for return clients who want to explore more.

The new petition for the Ferry

has only around 1400 signatures so far, we need 10.000 to be heard by the Government in Lisbon.

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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