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Christmas and End of Year Celebrations Will Take Place

The Madeira Tourism Secretary said today (27th), that tenders for the traditional Christmas and New Year celebrations in the region have already been launched, but the programmes will be adapted to ensure that all safety regulations are met, stated the Secretary for Tourism and Culture, Eduardo Jesus. While celebrating World Tourism Day, he said, “We have already launched the contests and we have some surprises in store for Madeira during the Christmas period and the End of Year celebrations.”

The government official said that, in relation to these two important events on the tourism calendar, at a time when most of the hotel occupation was nearing 100%, it was now time to promote the Christmas and End of Year festivities with the appropriate Covid-19 adaptations.” He likened the future events to those witnessed during the Flower Festival, where the programme had been reinvented, so that the traditional procession was replaced by 51 performers from the nine groups who would have taken part in the parade.  “True” he said, “this year’s flower festival is not the same as last year but it has been equally beautiful and has given the groups the opportunity to perform more frequently, much to the participants enjoyment.”

Eduardo Jesus further stressed, that the most important thing “is to never give up” and that the government is dedicated to finding alternative solutions for all the island’s cultural activities.  “We cannot be resigned to the consequences of the pandemic. We must obey health guidelines, but within these limitations we must create solutions.”

The official assured those present that posters and promotions are already being prepared, and that one of the greatest challenges, is creating multiple areas where the End of Year fireworks can be observed to avoid the concentration of crowds in a few traditionally defined places.

The island’s official Christmas entertainment programme begins in early December, with a redefined Christmas market, illuminations around the city and surrounding area, and a wide range of entertainment taking place in Praça do Povo, all of which will have the usual, but necessary safety precautions.

On the issue of hotel occupancy, he considered that at the moment “any percentage figure is a mere futurology,” arguing that, in addition to the constraints posed by travel safety issues, people are cautious, not only to the virus but by travelling and travel restrictions, and therefore, people are only booking their holidays three weeks in advance. Everything, he said, depends on trust and if people start to feel more comfortable about travelling, it will be good news for the island.

He concluded, by giving thanks to all those who obey the rules, and all those working towards the recovery of the island.

Samantha Gannon

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