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Ocean club going down ...along with its staff

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Ocean club going down ...along with its staff

Post by clairesy on Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:56 am

Madeleine’s disappearance starts taking its toll on Praia da Luz
2/8/2008

According to reports in the Portuguese press this week, the Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz, from where toddler Madeleine McCann went missing last year on May 3rd, has laid off at least half a dozen employees following poor occupational rates, said to be half the number registered 12 months ago.

At least six long-term employees have been contacted to negotiate the annulment of their contracts and respective compensation.

Most of the holidaymakers there at present booked their holiday packages last year. Furthermore, newspaper Diário de Notícias claims travel company Mark Warner have stopped sending tourists to that resort, and in fact intend severing all ties with the Ocean Club by the end of the year.

While the international economic crisis is being given as the main explanation for the drop in visitors, tour guide António Santos believes the ‘Maddie Case’ has also had an effect.

“As much as people may argue to the contrary, it has contributed”, to the current state of affairs, he said.

“Until the child is found, dead or alive, there will always be a feeling of doubt and unease amongst the English, who think there have been lots of errors in the way the Portuguese police lead the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.”

He added, “Even many of the retired British residents in Praia da Luz are leaving”.

Lagos GNR officers guarantee they patrol the area every day, but, António Santos says, “It is still not enough to transmit an image of real safety”.

On the other hand, he stressed, “Portugal has become a destination that is too expensive for the English, due to the weakening of the pound, who have started to look to other destinations like Spain, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, which are more attractive and cheaper”.

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Must be honest i can understand the reasons why people are avoiding this as a holiday destination.However will all due respect portugal isn't the first place to have a odd case with maybe corruptness by officials.

I think the reason people are avoiding luz is possibly because the madeleine case as such an effect.Its been such a big case and madeleine and luz alike have been in the worlds media for 15 months or more.People wouldn't really feel relaxed in such surroundings... and who can blame them spending their hard earned cash holidaying somewhere more urmmmm.... pure... and untarnished by such a tragic sad story.

“Even many of the retired British residents in Praia da Luz are leaving”.

That again i can understand as being so touched by Madeleine's plight and also maybe being angered sooo much by the way its been handled i to would want to get away from it all.


I think portugal is a beautiful country and many of its cops are probably very hard working and very nice people.The residents too.But i think the madeleine case as slowly become a bit of a personal issue for a lot of people especially from the Uk. No other child as touched the hearts of soo many people in years the way madeleine as.And no other child as been discussed the way madeleine as by soo many either. When im shopping and i pass the travel agency window and see holidays to portugal i immediately see Madeleine's face and the last 15 months flash through my mind for a few seconds.I dont think of anything else.Infact the other day at my cousins BBQ he was telling me how he is booking a holiday in the next few days but isn't sure weather to go to morocco, Italy or some other place....But as soon as he said morocco I thought of madeleine..and to me that also wouldn't be the ideal relaxation holiday. Im afraid if I was in morocco I would be walking around all day looking at all the kids, and taking pictures of places where large amounts of people were accumulating in a desperate bid to capturer her in one.
It isn't that I don't find these countries beautiful,but at the Minuit they mean something else to me...not holidays.
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Re: Ocean club going down ...along with its staff

Post by Guest on Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:40 am

I understand too those people, who don't want to travel to Portugal. We talking about feelings and after massive errors of PJ and all of these lies in Joana and Madeleine-case, most tourists are afraid of for their children or don't want take such a risk they would rub elbows with PJ. And especially because british child was abducted, most of them maybe think, it could have happened to them too.

To travel in countries, especially with children, where you can't trust authorities feels insecurity. And I have read most portuguese are afraid of PJ too.

People don't want take any risk, if it is not necessary, especially on holiday.

Of course this is sad for those ordinary portuguese, who have nothing to do with PJ or corruption.

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Re: Ocean club going down ...along with its staff

Post by clairesy on Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:03 pm

Minnea,

Thats right I agree with you 100%.It does seem a lot of Portuguese are afraid of the pj.And also its sad for normal residents in and around luz who have to deal with and pick up the pieces after this. I definitely think the reason people are staying from the area...or should I say...the reason there seems to be a drop in tourism to the area..is becasue of the madeleine case.Like it says in the report I posted...a lot of those at the Ocean club this year booked their holidays last year.


Who knows whats going on for real behind the scenes.And until all parties have there say we..the public, wont really know the truths or lies here.In the mean time all the innocent people..mainly madeleine will have to live with whats been pushed onto them.My only hope in this case is that she isn't hurting and that where ever she is she is happy with her new surroundings.Until she is found and returned safely back with her family where she can hopefully rebuild her life and be a happy little madeleine mccann again.
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Thing is

Post by dianeh on Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:32 pm

The local rely upon tourism for their livelihood. So when tourist numbers go down, it have a terrible effect on the locals and then all the local businesses, like a mini recession in that area.

That is what happened to Bali after the Bali bombings, and eventually our govt had to say, OK, it is safe to go now, and tourism started to pick up immediately.

To me, a policy of openness with the McCann case would have been better for everyone, including the tourism industry and therefore the locals. Think about it. If you times are tough and you are worried for the future, will you risk going to Portugal (which you now perceive to not be safe), or do you go to Spain, or perhaps holiday in Britain. Sadly, I think Portugal is going to the bottom of the pile and will miss the tourism dollars (or pounds as the case may be). But of course, that is just my own view, and it is most likely coloured by my feelings about the McCann case.

But how we know is, check Spain's tourism figures and see if there is a corresponding slump. If there is, then it is economic. If it isnt, then there is more to the reduction in tourism than economics.
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Re: Ocean club going down ...along with its staff

Post by Rosie on Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:09 pm

Without a doubt there is an economic slump, but to be honest I do not think that this is what is driving this holiday destination down, because for many they would have already booked their holiday's for this year before the slow down started to bite.
Despite people's feelings on this matter, deep down there is a lingering doubt that something may happen to their children if they go to Portugal and most people simply will not take that risk. I know I wouldn't, would you?

When the PJ were dragging their heels, when there were certain PJ members leaking to the press and smearing this couple, they were not only damaging the reputation of Kate and Gerry McCann, they were damaging the reputation of Portugal too. If ever a matter needed to be attended to quickly and efficiently and everything that could be done is seen to be done, it was this, but the Portuguese government allowed this disgraceful set of affairs to continue. The damage is done now, it is done exactly how I forecast it would happen. I said last year if Portugal did not get a grip this was going to ruin this seasons tourism, especially in Praia da Luz.

I say now this year, unless the Portuguese government get a grip of this situation and sort it out properly it will simply ruin tourism in Portugal altogether.

What the Portuguese government need to do is to hold a full and open independent inquiry into this case and the PJ's handling of this case. What they also need to do is to hold a root and branch inquiry into their judicial system and the Policia Judiciaria as a whole and a massive shake up and restructuring of their archaic laws needs to happen and until that does, I am afraid that Portugal will carry on being viewed as some kind of 3rd world country, with a police state and its government not in control, with corrupt officials.
None of this is conducive to good safe family holidays where you would want to take your family.

I know that the way it now stands I would not feel safe in that country, I would be terrified for my family and I would feel unable to take my eyes off of the children for a second, they have child abductors on the loose and their police have done precious little to catch them, why would I want to risk my family in such a country? Not only that if God forbid anything did happen and I do mean anything not necessarily child abduction, but if it did, I would then be terrified that my family or myself would land up being blamed for it.

Thanks but no thanks, there are other holiday destinations in the sun, cheaper and safer.

I feel very sad for the ordinary Portuguese person but they have a role to play in this also, they should stop cow towing to their police and putting them on pedestals, they should start questioning and start applying pressure on their government to change their out of date extremely dangerous laws and if their government doesn't listen, they should remember that at the ballot box next time.

Portugal will not change unless the people want it to. If the people do not want it to, then they have to get used to a drastic drop of British tourists and they should remember that it is the British tourists who go to make the bulk of Portugal's 2.8 billion tourist industry.

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Re: Ocean club going down ...along with its staff

Post by vee8 on Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:56 pm

Rosie, you more or less echoed my own sentiments. I booked up my holiday last year, but by the time I did, Portugal wasn't even ON the list, never mind bottom of it. It's not that I percieve Portugal to be any more dangerous than anywhere else, but, as you pointed out, if anything happened to Deanna, I feel sure the police would do precious little to find her, before turning on my wife and myself. That's probably not what would really happen, I'm sure most cops are honest and hardworking, and Kate and Gerry just had the extreme misfortune to land in this cops patch, but non-the-less I have had, rightly or wrongly, my whole picture of Portugal clouded by one useless fat swine. We holiday abroad, on average, every other year, credit crunch or not, and Portugal will, I'm afraid, probably never make it into the shortlist.
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Bumping This Thread as It Is Topical Now!

Post by Rosie on Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:30 pm

dianeh wrote:The local rely upon tourism for their livelihood. So when tourist numbers go down, it have a terrible effect on the locals and then all the local businesses, like a mini recession in that area.

That is what happened to Bali after the Bali bombings, and eventually our govt had to say, OK, it is safe to go now, and tourism started to pick up immediately.

To me, a policy of openness with the McCann case would have been better for everyone, including the tourism industry and therefore the locals. Think about it. If you times are tough and you are worried for the future, will you risk going to Portugal (which you now perceive to not be safe), or do you go to Spain, or perhaps holiday in Britain. Sadly, I think Portugal is going to the bottom of the pile and will miss the tourism dollars (or pounds as the case may be). But of course, that is just my own view, and it is most likely coloured by my feelings about the McCann case.

But how we know is, check Spain's tourism figures and see if there is a corresponding slump. If there is, then it is economic. If it isnt, then there is more to the reduction in tourism than economics.

I have to agree with Diane here and if people care to look then we on this forum and our blog were warning that tourism would suffer in PDL, long before it happened.

This is an excerpt of what I said in August 2008:

When the PJ were dragging their heels, when there were certain PJ members leaking to the press and smearing this couple, they were not only damaging the reputation of Kate and Gerry McCann, they were damaging the reputation of Portugal too. If ever a matter needed to be attended to quickly and efficiently and everything that could be done is seen to be done, it was this, but the Portuguese government allowed this disgraceful set of affairs to continue. The damage is done now, it is done exactly how I forecast it would happen. I said last year if Portugal did not get a grip this was going to ruin this seasons tourism, especially in Praia da Luz.

I say now this year, unless the Portuguese government get a grip of this situation and sort it out properly it will simply ruin tourism in Portugal altogether.

The Portuguese government did nothing and now we have a critical situation in Praia da Luz, which is not helped by the global recession. Yet still we have people trying to blame the victims for what has happened.
The fault in PDL first and foremost lays with the abductor/s there is no question of that, if they had not abducted a child from her bed then none of this would have happened and it is too simplistic and too convenient to blame the parents for leaving the children. They did not leave them in the sense they left them and went miles away, they were 89 steps away, eating their evening meal, they were not on the razz they were not off their heads, this is all confirmed by the Portuguese waiter/witness and checks were carried out on the children at regular intervals, it is no more or no less than thousands of other parents have done, whether you or I would personally do this,is NOT the issue. It happened and Madeleine was abducted, so blame the abductor.

In my opinion, the people that have perpetuated this argument about the parents leaving the children has actually added the fuel that is now powering the "mini recession" on top of the effects of the global recession that is effecting Praia da Luz.

The Portuguese government must have known how inadequately their police force were carrying out the investigation into Madeleine's abduction, they are the government, they are the ones that should have acted, they did nothing.

The detective who caused most of this sheer and utter ineptitude was sacked from the investigation in September 2007, four months AFTER Madeleine was abducted. For four months he was allowed to blunder his way through something he was not intellectually equipped to cope with, and great harm was done to Madeleine, her parents, AND tourism in Portugal, especially Praia da Luz.

Since then he has raked in probably over a million euros off of the back of a child and a couple he failed abysmally.

People look at this behaviour, they look at the dreadful investigation that has been blighted with blunders, leaks, smears, lies and character assassination. They look at parents who have been wrongfully accused and treated appallingly, they look on with sheer horror that a child was abducted from her bed and the man charged with searching for her simply gave up on day 3 and then turned and pointed the finger of blame at the parents. they look on as the parents powerless were in such desperate state that they had to hire their own investigators to look for their daughter. they look on this and much more.

Then they imagine themselves in that situation, they recoil with horror and they simply say, 'no thank you' and go somewhere else.

It the people of Portugal want their tourists back again they need to get real and stop blaming Kate and Gerry McCann for what an abductor did and for what subsequently Goncalo Amaral did and is still doing, and they need to make their government act, to instill law change and force the PJ to act properly in future and they need to root out and expel any corruption.

The Portuguese government can do this by holding their hands up and say we will learn the lessons from this, we will hold a full and open 'independent' public inquiry into this whole affair and we will abide by the recommendations of this report.

This is open, honest accountability, it may not be perfect, but it is the way more democratic country's behave, if the Portuguese government listen and act and do this, people will see change, real change in Portugal, then they will start to be reassured and they will return.

Time for Portugal to stop this blame the victim fest and realise that they themselves are the drivers of their own destiny.

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Re: Ocean club going down ...along with its staff

Post by Tinkerbell43 on Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:29 am

I cannot believe these people are blaming The McCanns for the loss of their jobs.

There was apparently a number of reasons given for the redundancies, but the only sitting ducks are the McCanns. Easy prey!

The reason the McCanns are returning now is because having combed through the files it is apparent that people within the local vacinity were not properly questioned. NOW WHO'S FAULT IS THAT!

Their is also supposed to be vital evidence about new suspects and the releasing of witness statements never revealed by the Portuguese Police. I'll ask again, NOW WHO'S FAULT IS THAT!

If people want to know why they are now returning to PDL, imo it is because of the initial incompetance of the Police Investigation and the time it has taken for them to plough through the files looking for missed information which it would appear they are now unearthing!.

Good on you Kate and Gerry!
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