Four beaches criticised for poor water quality
The Diario reported yesterday that four of the six Portuguese beaches revealed as having ‘poor’ water quality are in Madeira. Two are in Funchal – Poças do Gomes/Doca do Cavacas and Praia do Gorgulho – the latter is the stony beach below the Porto Mare and Enotel hotels in the Lido area west of Funchal. The other two are in Machico – S. Roque and Banda d`Além – the original stony beach and the artificial sandy beach next to each other (below).
The data was prepared by the Portuguese Environmental Association “Quercus” and is based on samples collected over the last four years (2011-2014) with the two parameters highlighted in the analysis being the presence or absence of intestinal enterococci and ‘Escherichia coli’.
The President of Frente MarFunchal, which looks after all the city’s seafront, said that the two beaches in question are “severely constrained by the amount of work that the south coast of the island has had in recent years". Also the seawater at Poças do Gomes/Doca do Cavacas is affected by currents and the water from the nearby Socorridos river (which empties into the sea towards Câmara do Lobos). The river entering into the sea in the middle of Machico will not help either.
Regional Government – talks on ferry return “underway”
Yesterday’s Diario reported the that the Board of the Regional Government, meeting yesterday in Quinta Vigia, under the presidency of Miguel Albuquerque, "decided to establish the necessary procedures and steps that will allow the restoration of maritime connection between Madeira and mainland Portugal for transporting passengers and cargo."
The regional secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources, Susana Prada, who was spokesman for the executive meeting, said that the efforts to resume Armas ferry operations are already underway. However, she declined to reveal details, as the matter is being handled by the Regional Secretary of Economy, Eduardo Jesus, who only returned to Madeira last night.
Strange how the island of Madeira seems to have completely disappeared on the Naveira Armas map from their website above?
Madeira Regency Palace latest
Still a deafening silence from the Regency Palace on their future plans, but a lot of people are confidently predicting that it will close at the end of June – the blog received the following e-mail earlier this week:
We own a timeshare at the Regency Palace and we are due to travel in July 2015. Our flights were booked until by chance one of MRP ex staff contacted us to say the Regency Palace was closing 30th June.
We have since been informed by the hotel that they are not taking bookings beyond the 30th June 2015. They suggest that the hotel management team are still in talks with the banks however for those set to travel in early July you may want to check with the hotel before you travel.
Re the future..I love the place and the people in it.. However given the adverse publicity and poor management of communication around the hotels future then I fear the damage to tourism is already done. When hundreds of people lose money on timeshare sold to help to boost the local economy then surely Madeira cannot expect the same people to return year after year to spend additional money on holidays to continue to boost their economy particularly when Europe is in recession and fewer than ever people are travelling. No brainer for me……should not have been allowed to go this long without communication to those affected
New Pestana corporate brand
Pestana has invested €1 million in new graphic identity, designed by the Ogilvy PR agency, which incorporates a stylised "P" similar to the existing logo but also designed to resemble the traditional “pause” button icon (I must say that I didn’t immediately appreciate this until it was pointed out!). The idea is to sell the idea that time is the most valuable asset that their guests have, and that customers visiting the group’s hotels “will have the best time of their lives".’The Time of your life’ strapline completes the new brand concept. All of this is intended to create “the most noticeable image and strengthen the brand’s position in the international market”.
“Anthem of the Seas”
Monday afternoon sees the visit of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, “Anthem of the Seas”. Weighing in at 167,800 this is a lot larger than P&O’s Britannia (141,000 tonnes). The ship features the “North Star” – a transparent pod that rises 300 feet above sea level and gives 360-degree views as it travels over the ship on a fifteen minute journey