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Weak Tourism Recovery A Worry

The PS-Madeira Parliamentary Group (Socialist Party) said that it is concerned with the tourist situation in the Region, not only at the present moment, but also in the coming months, as they believe that the recovery announced by the Regional Government is not taking place.

“At this moment, we see that the recovery is not the one we would like”, said deputy Sérgio Gonçalves, at a press conference held at Madeira airport. He note that the number of flights that have been registered to Madeira and Porto Santo has been decreasing since the airport reopened.

According to the socialist parliamentarian, August was the only month when the island experienced a tourism growth spurt, since when there has been a gradual reduction in the number of weekly flights to Madeira airport.

Sérgio Gonçalves said that “in August we had around 140 flights per week, in September 130, in October 100, in November 85 and now, although 77 thousand seats were presented for the month of December, this corresponds to an average of about 100 flights per week, about 40% less than than in August.

This situation is very worrying, as we see the Regional Government insisting on an advertising campaign regarding a recovery that is not taking place, in a situation where companies in the sector are experiencing numerous difficulties and in which unemployment, specifically in the tourism sector, is increasing drastically.”

At another level, the Socialist deputy said that the short-term strategy of certifying Madeira as a safe destination against biological risks, despite having its merits, is not having the desired effect as it is not encouraging the vast majority of companies to join the scheme, not is it attracting large numbers of tourists to the island.”

It should, however, be remembered that when other countries ban or discourage their populations from travelling abroad the knock-on effect is felt by holiday destinations, including Madeira, a situation over which they have no control irrespective of whether they are considered safe or not.

Samantha Gannon

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