Airport strike cancelled
The baggage handlers strike planned to start yesterday at Madeira airport has been cancelled. The strike had been planned by TAP’s handling agents (Groundforce and Portway) for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of July.
First Pestana CR7 project kicks off in Madeira
Whilst a sometimes petulant Ronaldo was otherwise involved in the Euros in France, his first joint project with the Pestana hotel group officially opened in Praça do Mar, Funchal, yesterday (Madeira Day). The hotel has 48 rooms (€180 – €220 per night) plus the Cristiano Ronaldo Suite (where daily rate averages €500). The publicity claims that “the target audience is the generation of the millennium (the ‘millennials’) who live dependent on the internet and new technologies, so the hotel unit has a digital component with the SO-ME-MO concept (Social Media Mobile) in its description”. Four more joint ventures are planned, with down-town Lisbon due later this year, and Madrid and New York scheduled for 2017. The total investment will be €75,000,000 split 50/50 between the footballer and Pestana.
More photos here
VAT comes down on meals
From yesterday the IVA (VAT) charged on restaurant meals, including takeaways, will return to 12% from the 22% that it has been in recent years under austerity measures. Alcoholic drinks will remain at 22%. The Regional Secretary of Economy, Tourism and Culture, Eduardo Jesus, is quoted as saying that this is good news for the tourism sector in Madeira. It remains to be seen if restaurants pass this saving directly on to customers.
World Cup Blue Marlin Championship
July 4th sees the World Cup Blue Marlin Championship. The tournament allows teams to fish anywhere in the world for 8 hours in their time zones. The World Cup is for one day only, for the one species and has only one winner. Entry fees start at $3000 (per boat), with potential winnings of “hundreds of thousands of dollars”. There is no second place, so all teams are notified immediately as soon as a qualifying fish is weighed – in this way, any team hooking a smaller fish can release it. A 652lb marlin caught off Madeira won the competition last year, with none of the other 149 competing teams able to better it. Some of the world’s largest Blue Marlin are regularly found off the coast of Madeira.