In a press statement sent to local newspaper, JM-Madeira last night, the Regional Secretary for Tourism and Culture, Eduardo Jesus, said that the restrictions imposed by Portugal on all connections with the United Kingdom will have a strong impact on Madeira, as approximately 21,000 tourists were expected to arrive for the Christmas and End of Year festivities.
In his statement, he said “It is a decision by Portugal that goes in line with other decisions that were being taken throughout yesterday afternoon and early evening. Portugal like its EU counterparts has taken steps to ensure that English citizens do not arrive in Portugal, for fear of the impact that this new strain will have on our communities. This is unfortunately a massive blow to the islands tourism.”
On the other hand, the Regional Secretary guaranteed that, despite the blow, the Christmas and New Year entertainment schedules will be maintained.
Trying to sound upbeat, Eduardo Jesus stated that the UK market is “just one of the markets we work with, however, it was the market that had the largest share of seats in terms of flights to Madeira during December. It was a market that responded very well, and that during this pandemic the UK market has supported Madeira, so it is a pity that this had to happen, and that a new strain has been identified. But, we must remain positive and react sensibly to any situation that arises.”