Anorak News | Press Coverage: Madeleine, Kate and Gerry McCann

Press Coverage: Madeleine, Kate and Gerry McCann

by | 7th, October 2008

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann

THE PORTUGAL NEWS ONLINE: “Business as usual in Praia da Luz”

Tourism is booming at the Ocean Club…

Robin Crosland has been in the Algarve for more than twenty six years. During that time, he has seen Praia da Luz grow exponentially.

He can remember way back when it was media as far as the eye could see…

The Ocean Club, of which he was architect and co-founder, has played a major role in the development of the once quintessential fishermen’s village and remains in the heart of Luz in more ways than one.

Can the name not be changed?

“I came here to help my partners, John Garveigh and David Symington, set up The Ocean Club. I was an architect, not an hotelier, and there was nothing here but fields, orchids, orange groves, olive tress – and a snake and a bull.”

Snakes and bull. That’s the Madeleine McCann story for you…

“The first unit we sold, a two-bedroom apartment with sea view, was put on the market for £11,000. That same apartment today is worth around €280,000”, 20 times its original value.”

Of course, some flats come with a premium. A bit of local history can affect prices…

The Ocean Club resort gained notoriety when it was thrust into the limelight on May 3rd last year, following the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The British toddler’s face was broadcast into homes around the world, as was Praia da Luz, and the Ocean Club became a household name caught amidst an unprecedented media frenzy in Portugal.

It was a multi-media brochure, advertising the delights of living in Paedo, sorry, Portugal…

Over the past 16 months reports have sporadically emerged stating that, as a consequence of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, Ocean Club guest figures have plummeted, that people considered Praia da Luz to be an unsafe spot for families and resulted in the temporary tarnishing of the Algarve’s idyllic image.

Well, there are many other places to holiday. Although some hacks prefer Praia to any other resort..

Robin is quick to rubbish all of these reports, as have other leading authorities and tourism officials, denying that having the resort’s name associated with one of the biggest child-related mysteries of modern times had a damaging effect.

Now the media has left town, there are lots of rooms…

“But no one wants that type of publicity, at all”, Robin admits, stating “there were some immediate cancellations, until around October last year, but then things levelled out again”.

So let’s not talk about Madeleine McCann, nor dwell on the missing child. But in case you are tempted to make link between the Ocean Club and the missing toddler, Mr Crossland has prepared a statement:

“It was of course a terrible tragedy and all our hearts went out to the family, the whole village as well as our staff were deeply upset and the out-pouring of grief was enormous…

“We still had another 600 guests to look after who had paid to stay with us and who had nothing to do with this event and wanted to enjoy their holiday”.

600. Have they all been questiosned, or profiled by the media?

He says that, whilst figures were not as good as in 2006, when the Algarve experienced a mini-boom in tourism, this year “The Ocean Club continued to attract families with children of all ages with the exception of April and early May when there were fewer families with pre-school children. But by June, these had also returned to normal and by July and August things were more or less back to normal occupancy figures”.

Anything changed much?

Criticised at the time for its lack of CCTV cameras, as were many resorts last year following the debate for new safety measures, Robin retorts: “Most of the resort is spread throughout the village, the units are accessed via public roads and paths and in Portugal it is illegal to have security video cameras in public places. On private property we don’t need them as we have manned receptions”.


In the meantime, The Ocean Club is planning to make “considerable investments” during this winter, which include upgrading restaurant areas.

Turn the beer goggles the other way up. Pass the binoculars…

Madeleine McCann is missing – still missing…

Online PR: Madeleine McCann Used To Sell Holiday Flats

Madeleine McCann: Buy The Flat And The Villa For The Maddie Experience

Madeleine McCann: Live Like The McCanns As Their Praia Da Luz Apartment Goes On Sale

Posted: 7th, October 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann Comments (177) | TrackBack | Permalink