What visitors really want?

The German television company WDR has broadcast at the beginning of this month in their weekly travel program Wundersch√∂n! (Beautiful!), a 90 minutes report of Madeira “Blumeninsel im Atlantik” (Island of Flowers), presented by Tamina Kallert.

WebTV Madeira “Blumeninsel im Atlantik” (90 min. German)

Although it is in German and 1 hour and a half long … it is worth to watch this webTV program.

One thing I noticed when watching this German travel report ….. from it you can learn what visitors want to see and visit. Remember, this is a 1 hour and a half long TV program, so it should cover the most important attractions and things-to-do that a German traveler will be looking for in Madeira. I got a good impression of what that is … but I leave it up to you to find it out yourself. I am curious if you come to the same conclusion as I did.

After watching the TV report one will learn that all the attractions that were covered by the German Wundersch√∂n! group had one thing in common …. they all missed one characteristic …. namely “modern”. Talking in Internet-terms … if you could tag all the attractions mentioned in the TV program … the word “modern”, “new-flanged” or “futuristic” would not be one of them. In the German travel coverage I missed things like modern entities such as Story Center, Casa das Mudas, Madeira Magic, Santana Theme park, trip with one of the catamarans, double deck buses, shopping malls/centers, and also none of the modern hotels were mentioned.

My conclusion is that visitors prefer to experience the old-fashioned. Searching for old traditions and typical things that they do not get to see in their home country or have been lost during the modernization. Just ask a Madeira visitor to name the characteristics of Madeira …. and you will hear most of them mentioning the same subjects that were covered in the German TV program. This is a lesson that one can learn from.

My advice to (future) entrepreneurs on Madeira: learn first the Madeiran (old) culture …. search for images of (lost) traditions …. and if you can restore (part of it) back …. then you will be a winner in the area of tourism.

Madeira with Easter

This is a report from two good friends from the Netherlands (Wim and Bas) who visited Madeira this last Easter. They share their views of the island and also a few tips for other visitors.

Seacliffs and MistWe went to Madeira to spend Easter with our friend who lives there for almost 3 years. We had our flights from Amsterdam to Funchal with TAP, and had to transfer in Lisbon. It was a good experience, lots of legroom, leather chairs, and we had 2 meals, going out and going back!

Our first impression was that Madeira was very green and had huge mountains. We went from the airport to our hotel, and decided that we want to go visit Funchal. But due to heavy rain we went to our friend’s apartment, where it was sunny. That is Madeira, on site can be cloudy or with heavy rain, the other site can e hot and sunny. And in the mountains you have a lot of clouds that cover the tops of the mountains, so driving in that is like driving in thick mist.

The next day we drove around the island with them, and got a good impression of the Island. The last 2 days we made the West tour and the East tour. That was a great way to see a lot of Madeira in a short time.

Madeira is the sunshine Island, well … we had 4 days of heavy rain! But still we like the Island and will come back for sure.

Some points to keep in mind:

1. Always be prepared for rain, when it comes down, it sure comes down! so bring your umbrella and a coat, because there is always some wind

2. If you want to hire a car, the roads are excellent. strong>ONLY: all the roads are very steep up and down, so if you are afraid to stop and pull up on a steep hill, don’t drive a car. Also, you have a lot of (dark) tunnels, so if you are afraid of that, don’t drive a car. Also keep in mind that going up and down the mountain, the roads have a lot of hairpin curves, are very steep and you may have to pass big buses. But otherwise it is no problem to drive. If you are not sure, take a taxi instead!

3. Prices vary, some things are the same as in other European countries, and others are expensive or cheap. The best way to find out is go and look for things you want to have, and then decide if it is cheap or expensive.

4. You can get all kinds of food. Just try the local food also. We don’t eat fish, but it seems to be very good. But also the meat can be very good. We had Espetada, a kind of meat stick with a lot of garlic, we loved it!

5. Keep your patience when things go slow, that is the way of life in Madeira.

We had an excellent 4 day stay, and we are sure we want to come back to Madeira!!