The secretary Conceição Estudant (C E) of Tourism Transport and Culture has said “the Christmas lights are not a disgrace like everyone is saying, but they have not run to the expectations I had” after being forced to face the criticism.
A protest has been organised for Saturday 13th December on Facebook . From 7pm people will meet in the Municipal Square in Funchal, wearing reflective jackets and holding touches, the aim to show we want more shine in the Christmas Lighting . People will then march to the Tourism office on Avenida Arriaga. So anyone who wishes to come along and show how disgusted we are with Funchal’s lights this year, will meet 7pm .
I have already had a few emails and comments on Facebook, as to how disappointed people are, and also the comments on the Diario website and Photos going round Facebook are pretty entertaining.
A few comments I have received below, plus some of those Photos from Facebook.
We love Madeira and its people and feel really sad that someone thought it a good idea to snatch failure from the jaws of victory! Why mess with something that year on year has been amazing and increased footfall (and therefore spending) around the city?
We have influenced a number of our friends to visit the island because of our enthusiasm but we will most definitely not be promoting a visit to see the lights. Our very first visit nine years ago was end of the year as a last minute break after a very busy year. We were absolutely blown away by the display and it has been a continuing “love affair” with a very beautiful and varied island.
Hope you have a good Christmas and a prosperous 2015
After my last contact we decided to just take the plunge and book our pre Christmas break and take a chance on whether the building works were completed…..after all we had the annual spectacle of the Christmas lights to enjoy.
Well, we were mightily impressed with the scale and engineering feat along the completed promenade and credit where it is due for the magnificent achievement after the disastrous floods that made all this necessary! Photographs do not do it justice.
HOWEVER……the Christmas lights (or not)? We have never seen anything more pathetic or less inspiring and definitely not festive! I personally have a bit of knowledge re lights having co-ordinated my own town’s display for over 15 years. No point in wasting any more words or time on this one because the evidence speaks for itself; you only have to look at past photos of Funchal (9 years in our case). At a time when they should be celebrating not only the successful reincarnation of the promenade but also the Christmas season the main impression is of empty coffers and a loss of will!
On a more serious note and having spoken to a number of business people whom we have got to know over the years, they are struggling. The recession and two years construction project has impacted on them. Footfall is most obviously down. Now is surely the time for some aggressive remarketing of the city and island with the message that “we are open for business and better than before”. Sadly some experimental lighting scheme is either brave or plain stupid! Just goes to show that an artist’s impression is exactly that!
In the past we have used our pre Christmas visit to launch us into our Christmas season at home but we will be giving it a miss now until this debacle is sorted out.
That said, we love Madeira and will not totally abandon this beautiful island which is why we feel so sad that Funchal has somehow scored an own goal particularly as it is for many passengers of the cruise liners the first impression that they get.
Hope you have a lovely Christmas
Wish I could be there to show my support, but good on you and everyone else for taking a stand against the horrendous lights this year. Madeira is not doing itself any favours for future years as tourists will go elsewhere in future years. The islanders themselves look forward to the Christmas lights and end of year celebrations and have been short changed big time this year. Let’s hope the powers that be take notice and listen to the people of Madeira for once. I also hope that they make sure that the “very different” fireworks planned on New Years eve are not a huge disappointment as these lights have been.