Friday, 10 April 2015

Tourism Diet

1. Introduction

The Algarve is a seasonal tourism region. The season being summer. Algarve also offers in winter golf tourism. But even in the economically less strained times, it did generate a significant revenue but was never a match with the “summer surge” of July/August.

It is never enough to compliment Algarve’s Sun and beaches, one of which, D. Ana beach in  Lagos was named, in July 2014, the best beach of the world by the Spanish magazine Condé Naste Traveler, followed by the Song Saa in Cambodia, the South Male in the Maldives and the Vietnamese Six Senses Con Dao and Bai Dai.

It’s for the beaches that the vast majority of tourists come to Portugal and they come for it in those 2 particular months, July and August, which make up the Algarve’s high season.

One way for one to tell the seniority of a person in a corporation in Portugal is to see when they are able to take their holiday. If one can’t in either July or August, then one is really a junior member.

If, on the contrary, one is able to take the entire month of August, then that means the person has a relevant position in the corporation.

The months of June and September are pre and post high season. In June the Sun shines and the sea is inviting but there’s still school most of this time and it’s still too early to break away from work and then spend July and August “watching” others enjoying themselves.

September is for those unable to have enjoyed the July/August window of time. From the 15th onwards the nights start to be as chilly as they were in April and May, so it’s not as pleasurable as it was during the high-season, July and August.

There is another period in which people, mainly Portuguese, go to the Algarve and that’s the Easter week. Those able to take vacations together with their children, take the opportunity to enjoy it also the previous week.

We would say that Algarve tourism would have the following flux of customers: high rate of occupancy, the months of July and August and Easter week; medium rate, the months of June and September and the week before Easter week and low rate for the rest of the year.

For regular airlines/tourist operators the season starts around Easter, on March 26 to be precise when IATA summer begins, and charters will start at that time but increasing at the end of May for the “real” season  which culminates in the “summer surge” of July/august.

Easter will have extra charters then frequency decreases again and increases at end of May. Thomas Cook, for example, in 2015 only starts booking for the Ocean Club as of beginning of May. No bookings before that. Thomas Cook who was in 2007 Ocean Club's biggest tourist operator and not Mark Warner.

In 2007, Easter Friday was on April 6, quite early in the year.

The tourism calendar for 2007 was, in our opinion the following:

Red - the high rate occupancy weeks, orange - the medium rate occupancy weeks and green - the low rate ones.

2. Salary that is a salary and a half

Due to the seasonal characteristics of the industry and its importance to national revenue, specific labour laws have been created because of it.

The spirit behind the labour laws is to protect the long standing contracts, or termless contracts, which ensure the worker security in terms of employment. These have a trial period, after which the employer can let the worker go but to hire people with the intent of firing them at the end of the trial period would be unconstitutional. One thing is for one or two workers to “fail” at the end of the trial period, another would be for all new hired employees that year to do so.

So, understanding the seasonality of the tourism industry, a law covering seasonal work was created. This way the employer is able to provide work during the period in which the business is profitable (high and medium occupancy periods) and keep only the necessary people during the low occupancy months.

This benefits the employer but the real intention is to benefit the state. Through these contracts the Portuguese state ensures that the salaries are subject to all due taxes.

In Portugal, each worker has to account for 2 taxes: social security and revenue.

The first, social security has 2 percentages due:

- one from the employee (fixed rate that in 2007 was of 11.0 % - which we shall call SS1);

- another from the employer (fixed rate that in 2007 was of 23.75 % - which we shall call SS2).

Both SS1 and IRS (revenue tax) are discounted from the gross salary of the worker and handed over by the employer to the state.

The employer is indifferent to percentage the worker has to discount for IRS. The sum of what the worker receives plus what the state receives (SS1 and IRS) the gross salary will be the money the employer has to take out of his pocket which, added up, makes up his/her gross salary.

But that is not the total amount the employer has to hand over to the state relative to the worker. He has to hand over also the SS2 which as said, in 2007 was 23.75% of the gross salary.

Real gross salary = gross salary + (gross salary x 23.75% social security)

In practical terms, on a gross salary of 1,000.00€, the real gross salary an employer has to take out monthly from his pocket for a worker is 1,237.50€ (1,000.00€ - worker, IRS and SS1 + 237.50€ of SS2).

But that is not all the worker means financially to the Portuguese employer.

At the end of the contract he’s entitled to the proportional amount due for holiday and Christmas subsidies.

These two subsidies were paid in 2007 in June (holiday subsidy – money for worker's holiday to be spent in the “summer surge” of July/August) and in November (Christmas subsidy –  money for Christmas shopping).

The amount of each of these subsidies is the same as the gross salary and taxed in the same way.

As a seasonal worker does not work a whole year, at the end of his contract he will receive 1/12 of each subsidy for every month he worked.

In practical terms, a 1,000€ salary will be increased in 83.33€ per subsidy, which totals a gross salary of 1,166.67€. To this amount the employer has to pay the 23.75% due to SS2, which is 277.08€.

1,166.67€ + 277.08€ = 1,443.75€

Expenditure per worker = gross salary + 1/12 + 1/12 + ((gross salary + 1/12 + 1/12) x 23.75% social security)

This means that for an employer, a gross salary of 1,000€ one is actually spending 1,443.75€ on that particular working post.

Roughly 1,5 of the original value. Meaning that for every 2 workers the employer employs he has to pay roughly 3 gross salaries. Or, to be exact, 2,8875 gross salaries.

It does make one think before one hires someone. In Portugal, one only hires who one really needs and only when one needs that worker. Not a day sooner.

3. Expected seasonal employment

Taking into account the beneficial legislation and the real expenditure each worker means to the company, it’s expected as we said, for the employer to employ only necessary manpower and only during the time it's really needed.

Let's consider that a particular resort is  fully or 100% manned when it hires the number of people it needs to manage a 100% occupancy.

The 100% occupancy being the number of clients it expects to receive during the upcoming “summer surge” of July/August, the period it expects to be fully booked.

So a 100% manning is the exact number of employees that the resort/hotel will have working on the Saturday of the 1st week of the July/August period.

We will also assume that a 80% of manning will be able to manage the occupancy expected during the medium rate occupancy periods of June and September.

There are jobs in which the worker doesn't require any sort of induction or adaptation such as laundry, gardening and cleaning while others, like restaurants and bars and receptionists, do.

However the amount of time needed for adaptation (one assumes worker has required skills when applying for job) varies. For a restaurant/bar, we think a couple of days is more than enough, while for a receptionist a week seems to be more appropriate.

We assume that the most complex or crucial jobs, such administration and administrative services are manned by the permanent staff. As an example, in any hotel, its head chefs are not seasonal. Seasonal are those hired to do the more simple (but arduous) tasks to help them.

We suppose that due to the permanent seasonal characteristics of the industry, the resorts/hotels will have a pool of people they know they can trust and who need the minimum or no period of induction and/or adaptation from which they hire the needed seasonal workers.

The Easter break period (the Easter week and the one before) we expect the resorts/hotels to hire very short term workers up to a maximum of 80% manning in those 2 weeks even though in one of them they expect to be fully booked. It's a week in a year where their workers know they will have to put in an extra effort.

Finally, we will consider that the non-seasonable staff, or the permanent one, is about 50% of a 100% manned resort.

This is what we expected the seasonable hiring would have been in 2007 (Easter Friday was April 6) from February up until the “summer surge”:

weekly occupancy expectation

The image above shows the following:

- the green weeks when it's expected a minimum-rate occupancy. Manning at 50% during that period with the exception of one week, at the end of May, before the start of the medium rate occupancy which starts in June. During that week manning would increase up to 70% to ensure the induction and adaptation of all those who require it.

- the orange weeks when it's expected a medium rate occupancy. Manning around 80%. No need to waste financial resources.

- the pink weeks when it's expected a maximum rate occupancy or fully booked. Manning at 100%.

During the Easter break, 1 orange week and 1 pink, the resorts/hotels will hire for a very short time, very briefly increasing, its manning up to 80% but only for that period.

The yellow line represents the expected variation due to the seasonal hiring. It will be used in other graphics as a reference to what we consider normal. Anything above this line is not normal, logical or economically reasonable.

The graph does not show the blog's opinion on what the downsizing in the months after August should look like because this post is to analyse the hiring period that leads up to the “summer surge”. The weeks shown after August are for the reader to have a perception of time, in weeks.

4. No new hiring (22 workers – 0 new)

Our analysis is based on the Ocean Club staff list, pgs 850 and 851, Vol IV of the PJ Files.

We will start our analysis by listing the areas in which no seasonal employee was hired by the Ocean Club in 2007 (in parenthesis the date of contract/arrival):

- Administration (1 worker)

1. George Robin Crosland (01/06/1985)

- Administrative services (8 workers)

1. Maria da Graça Guerreiro Alão Gonçalves (02/01/1985)
2. Luis Miguel da Conceição Duarte (15/04/1985)
3. Teófilo Manuel Furtado Castela (04/05/1987)
4. João Manuel Marreiros Viana (04/01/1988)
5. Silvia Maria Correia Ramos Batista (03/03/1988)
6. José Duarte Nunes de Oliva Novo (05/12/1988)
7. Vitor Manuel de Jesus Santos (12/04/1989)
8. Joan Brenda Azevedo Coutinho (01/08/2003)

- Maintenance (9 workers)

1. João Carlos da Silva Batista (02/05/1988)
2. Jaime Manuel Gonçalves Graça (01/05/1997)
3. Jaime Pedro Oliveira Graça (01/06/1997)
4. Mário Domingos Moreira (01/06/1997)
5. Nuno Filipe Guerreiro da Conceição (07/09/1998)
6. Tiago Pires Luz da Silva (03/02/2004)
7. Carlos Miguel da Costa Palma (02/03/2006)
8. Bernardino Abreu Pereira da Silva (15/03/2006)
9. Luis Filipe Monteiro Ferro (12/04/2006)

- Gardening (5 workers)

1. Sérgio Manuel Guerreiro Da Conceição (05/04/1999)
2. António Joaquim da Conceição (01/01/2000)
3. José Manuel Ferreira da Costa Rodrigues (01/01/2000)
4. Manuel Viegas Estevão (01/05/2006)
5. Carlos Alberto Gouveia do Nascimento (09/05/2006)

- Other (4 workers)

1. Marina Paula Raposo Batista Castela (06/04/1987) – Housekeeper
2. Piedade Costa Mendes (01/05/1998) - Support Services
3. Maria Dulce Maurício Espirito Santo (01/01/2000) – Seamstress
4. Celeste Libânia Dos Santos (01/03/2003) – Common Areas

In these listings we find strange that Robin Crosland's other two partners, David Symington and John Garveigh are not listed but will accept that they might not have managerial functions but were only Crosland’s business partners and so have a reason not to appear in this list.

We also note that manager Silvia Batista appears simply as “Adminstrative”.

5. Laundry (3 workers – 2 new)

1. Vera Maria Mestre Fernandes Arez (01/05/2004)
2. Mário Fernando Madeira Marreiros (05/03/2007)
3. Silvia Isabel Cunha Azevedo Cravinho (10/04/2007)

In blue the seasonal employees and the week they were hired. In red, the people, in %, hired above yellow line, or, in other words, those we think represented overstaffing during that particular week.

We will not question the reasons for tripling of the capacity of the resort in this particular area but we will do so about the timing in which it was done.

It’s clear that the hiring policy for seasonal workers to increase the capability to take care of its laundry has little or nothing to do with the Easter break. Why hire someone after this break and so early on before the “summer surge”? 

6. Cleaning (22 workers – 8 new)

1. Maria Francisca de Jesus Viegas (01/10/1985)
2. Celeste da Conceição Antão da Silva (02/11/1985)
3. Dina Maria Dos Reis Rocha (01/01/2000)
4. Maria Júlia Serafim da Silva (01/01/2000)
5. Nazaré da Conceição Silva Vicente (01/01/2000)
6. Mónica da Luz Loureiro Dias Romão (01/04/2003)
7. Deolinda Maria Silva Cristino Norte (01/11/2003)
8. Dora Isabel Serafim da Silva (01/11/2003)
9. Fátima Maria Serafim Silva Espada (01/11/2003)
10. Maria Manuela Leal Russo Rodrigues (01/11/2003)
11. Maria Noélia de Jesus Do Nascimento (01/11/2003)
12. Natália da Glória Soares Camacho (01/11/2003)
13. Maria de Fátima Rodrigues Bernardo (18/07/2004)
14. Maria Guiomar Mestre Fernandes (13/03/2006)
15. Maria Bernadete Calado da Glória (01/03/2007)
16. Cátia Cristina Reis Galvão (02/04/2007)
17. Custódia Maria Dos Reis Espada (02/04/2007)
18. Isaura Fernandes Romão (02/04/2007)
19. Maria Amélia Furtado Pinheiro Gordinho (02/04/2007)
20. Maria de Fátima de Jesus Morgado (02/04/2007)
21. Maria de Fátima Nunes António (02/04/2007)
22. Maria de Lurdes da Silva Santos Luz (02/04/2007)

If one wishes to reinforce an area, in this case cleaning, then one certainly does not hire people when it is happening. As the reader can see, 7 new cleaning ladies were hired during the Easter week, so this was not for that period, in fact it seems to be rather to antecipate the one that follows it.

It shows that whoever was responsible for the hiring, expected a surge in this area after the Easter break and not during it. And many weeks before the “summer surge”.

7. Reception and Doormen (10 workers – 3 new)

- Receptionists

1. Sandro Miguel Moreira Sampaio da Silva (03/05/2000)
2. Rita Cristina Rosa dos Santos Silva (01/02/2001)
3. Eliseu José Craveiro Viana (19/03/2001)
4. Pedro Louro Serrão (04/07/2005)
5. Ivo Roberto Guadencio Guerreiro (03/04/2006)
6. Helder Jorge Sampaio Luís (19/04/2006)
7. José Carlos Fernandes da Silva (26/03/2007)

- Doormen

8. Luisa Ana Noronha Azevedo Coutinho (03/04/2006)
9. Elisa Angela Dias Romão (26/03/2007)
10. Mónica Azevedo Coutinho Marques (02/04/2007)

In this area we have to clarify one thing. A doorman in any hotel/resort is the person who helps to take the customers’ luggage up to the room.

Ocean Club has no rooms but apartments and due to it's layout, such a service does not make sense, as it would mean a lot of walking on the part of a possible doorman and a lot of waiting by the following customers who would line up waiting for the poor soul to return each time.

By coincidence, all doormen listed are women. So no heavy carrying, we think.

Two of them, Luisa and Monica, we have spoken of in our “Chasing Staff” post.

The fact the doorman (doorwomen?) are differentiated from the receptionists makes us believe that where these “doorwomen” worked was at the 3 pool entrances, Adult, Tapas and Millenium.

Luisa Coutinho was the receptionist who according to Kate wrote the alleged note in the Tapas reservation book, which has never been found in the PJ files, stating that the group were leaving children unattended whilst they dined. This would link Luisa to Tapas and its entrance.

Was Luisa, a relative of the Garveigh family, joint owners of the OC, the Tapas doorwoman?

That would mean that the pool entrances, including obviously the Tapas one, were not receptions as many try to make us believe they were but simple entrances with a person controlling the entries.

But even so it doesn’t make sense as it fails to guarantee the rotation required to keep the entrances always under control.

We’re talking about lunch and dinner breaks and resting days and night hours (according to the working hours of the respective restaurants/bars).

To have an entrance without anyone there during certain periods of time then what is the use of having someone there at all?

If the 3 of them are allocated to the Tapas entrance, so assuring the continuity of the service, then why don't the Adult and the Millenium pool entrances have 3 doormen also?

As both Luisa and Monica say they are receptionists and not “doorwomen”, we will consider them as receptionists. Ocean Club had 7 receptionist and hired 3 seasonal ones for 2007.

We must say that it seems to us a little excessive to have 10 receptionists for 1 x 24H reception and too little for 1 x 24H reception and 3 x extended hour entrances (Adult, Tapas and Millenium) but who are we to judge?

Receptionist are the only seasonable workers who require some induction and adaptation. The new employee has to adapt to the software that the resort uses and gain full knowledge of the layout and services to be able to provide the appropriate answer to any question or request from the clients.

Please note that one, Monica, is hired during Easter week so she was not hired because of it.

Again, as with the laundry and cleaning, the hiring policy reflects an expectation that the resort would start to fill up after Easter and many weeks before the “summer surge”.

We also think that Ocean Club should pay attention to this particular area. If the readers remember, those on duty on the morning of May 4 2007 couldn't speak English, at least according to Stephen Carpenter. 7. 

8. Restaurant & Bar (50 workers – 44 new)

1. Luis Miguel de Sousa Barros (01/04/1998)
2. Luis Miguel Pinguinha M Furtado (19/04/1999)
3. Natalia Pasa (01/08/2003)
4. Valter Manuel de Freitas Mendes (10/06/2004)
5. Hayley May Crawford (02/12/2004)
6. João Pedro Ramos Agapito (01/04/2006)
7. Arlindo Efifânio Gonçalves Fernandes Peleja (01/03/2007)
8. David José Arauto Veloso dos Santos (12/03/2007)
9. Joaquim José Moreira Baptista (12/03/2007)
10. Luisa Maria Câmara Todorov (12/03/2007)
11. Maria José dos Santos Rosa (14/03/2007)
12. Peter Kreuzer (14/03/2007)
13. Aritson Henrique Soares Santos Lúcio (19/03/2007)
14. Cátia Sofia da Costa (19/03/2007)
15. Maria de Fátima de Sousa Fernandes (19/03/2007)
16. Maria Isabel Ferreira Machado (19/03/2007)
17. Miguel Salcedas Coelho (19/03/2007)
18. Nuno Gonçalo Marques Vicente dos Ramos Bernardo (19/03/2007)
19. Ricardo Alexandre da Luz Oliveira (19/03/2007)
20. Sofia Bento Barbosa (19/03/2007)
21. Tiago Rocha Barreiros (19/03/2007)
22. Antonio Manuel Gingeira (20/03/2007)
23. Sandra Maria dos Santos Lourenço (25/03/2007)
24. John Sholto Young (26/03/2007)
25. Maria Manuela Antónia José (26/03/2007)
26. Nelson Luis da Silva Rodrigues (26/03/2007)
27. Pedro Alexandre Gonzaga Ribeiro (26/03/2007)
28. Ecatarina Dobrioglo (27/03/2007)
29. Alexandra Nicole de Souso (01/04/2007)
30. Pedro Miguel Gonçalves Albino Silva Bandarra (01/04/2007)
31. Ana Marilia Do Carmo Silva (02/04/2007)
32. Cecilia Paula Dias Firmino Carmo (02/04/2007)
33. Jorge Miguel Trindade Cintra (02/04/2007)
34. Stefan Kotsev Todorov (02/04/2007)
35. Tiffany Carol Horner (03/04/2007)
36. Jerónimo Tomás Rodrigues Salcedas (04/04/2007)
37. Maria de Jesus Rodrigues de Almeida (05/04/2007)
38. David Miguel Marino Barroso (09/04/2007)
39. Gustavo César Cabral Campos (09/04/2007)
40. Paula Cristina da Costa Vieira (09/04/2007)
41. Virginia Vieira Monteiro (09/04/2007)
42. Vera Lúcia Rodrigues de Almeida Valério (11/04/2007)
43. Svetlana Starkova Vitorino (19/04/2007)
44. Sergio António Sandoval Janini (20/04/2007)
45. Eduardo João Oliveira Martins (21/04/2007)
46. Maria da Piedade dos Reis João Batista (23/04/2007)
47. Auzela Tania Damião André Bingui (26/04/2007)
48. Tiago Filipe Pinheiro de Freitas (26/04/2007)
49. Joelson Fábio Soares Santos Lúcio (27/04/2007)
50. Alayn Hernandez Fundora (01/05/2007)

With the restaurants we have the strangest phenomenon. This particular area of service grows an amazing 7.5 times. From 6 workers to 50.

As can be easily seen, the growth has nothing to do with the Easter break.

This resort that has indeed 3 bars (Tapas, Adult and Millenium) and 2 restaurants (Tapas (allegedly) and the Millenium).

One, Tapas, allegedly only took 20 covers (according to Kate this number was actually only 15) and the Millenium was a buffet style restaurant.

To provide this service there were 50 people. Evenly distributed that makes it 10 people per facility. Not location but facility. Tapas and the Millenium each would have 20 (10 for the bar and 10 for the respective restaurant). And the adult pool, the remainder 10.

Any other distribution makes as much sense as this one. 

Tapas, the restaurant, would have 10 people to cook and serve 20 covers. We can finally see why people wanted really to go to Tapas. A table of 4 would have 2 waiters for them!

It’s not up to us to question such numbers. Each one spends their money the way they want to.

But we can, and shall, say that we cannot understand the logic behind the timing to hire new staff to this area.

Why be at 80% manning 12 weeks before July? Why be 100% manning 9 weeks before? Why hire 9 people during, not before, Easter week? Why hire 15 people during, not before, the Easter break?

Again, it seems high season for the Ocean Club came very much earlier than it did for the rest of the Algarve.

We will be coming back to the restaurant staff in a following post to go over a detail which will be more opportune to be discussed at another time.

9. Ocean Club (112 workers – 57 new)

As we have seen up to now, the Ocean Club had for the 2007 “summer surge”:

- Administration – 01 worker;

- Administrative services – 08 workers;

- Maintenance – 09 workers;

- Gardening – 05 workers;

- Other – 04 workers;

- Laundry – 03 workers (02 new);

- Cleaning – 22 workers (08 new);

- Reception and Doormen – 10 workers (03 new);

- Restaurant & Bar – 50 workers (44 new).

It started with 55 employees and at 100% manning it had 112.

57 new salaries, 82.3 new “real” salaries and all new personnel hired 9 or more weeks before the “summer surge”:

At 80% manning 13 weeks before “summer surge” and 9 weeks before, 100% manning .

Easter week was the one when most people were hired in a week.

It's not a slight deviation but a clear difference between what was expected and what happened.

Clearly the surge was expected to come a little after Easter break and quite a while before July.

10. Mark Warner (33 workers – 33 new)

According to the Mark Warner staff list:

1. Euan Crosby (15/03/2007)
2. Nathan Scart (15/03/2007)
3. Lyndsay Johnson (15/03/2007)
4. Robert Cook (18/03/2007)
5. Georgina Jackson (18/03/2007)
6. Stacey Portz (18/03/2007)
7. Amy Tierney (18/03/2007)
8. Hayley Aldridge (21/03/2007)
9. Najoua Chekaya (21/03/2007)
10. Daniel Stuk (21/03/2007)
11. Benjamin Wilkins (21/03/2007)
12. Claire-Louise Bennett (21/03/2007)
13. Steve Carruthers (21/03/2007)
14. Sebastian Godsmark (21/03/2007)
15. Claire Hicks (21/03/2007)
16. Lauren Hilder-Darl (21/03/2007)
17. Steven Jackson (21/03/2007)
18. Fraser Nixon (21/03/2007)
19. Catriona Baker (21/03/2007)
20. Lynne Rhyannon (21/03/2007)
21. Kirsty Maryan (21/03/2007)
22. Susan Owen (21/03/2007)
23. Emma Wilding (21/03/2007)
24. Jacqueline Williams (21/03/2007)
25. Shinead Vine (21/03/2007)
26. Leanne Wagstaff (23/03/2007)
27. Emma Knights (25/03/2007)
28. Pauline McCann (27/03/2007)
29. Alice Stanley (07/04/2007)
30. Chris Unsworth (14/04/2007)
31. Charlotte Pennington (28/04/2007)
32. Sarah Williamson (28/04/2007)
33. Robert Ragone (05/05/2007)

Mark Warner, apparently had no one in place before March.

More than likely MW operation in Portugal  did not work in the winter.

It would have started at Easter and finish in October. Most tour operators work like that. In the winter they sell Asian destinations, Madeira, warm Spanish Islands, Greece, etc. but not continental Portugal and Spain.

That would explain why no MW staff before middle of March.

But doesn't explain how early in the season it was fully manned.

Salaries are expensive. Mark Warner employees were hired in the UK and their salaries from and taxed there.

In 2007, the minimum wage in Portugal was of 403.00€. Or 2.23€ (22 working days a month, 8 working hours a day). The minimum wage then in the UK was of £5,52 an hour or 8.11€ (GBP - EUR exchange in March 2007 was 1,47).

The UK minimum wage hour was 3,54 times more expensive than the Portuguese one.

So we would expect that Mark Warner would ensure only the required number of staff for the Easter break and then increase according with the occupancy expectations.

That's why we fully agree with Kirsty Maryan, when she says on May 07 2007: “Clarifies that she started to work on this resort last year [in 2006] where she worked from July to October”. In 2007, she arrives on March 21, in a group of 18 Mark Warner employees who arrived that day, of the 23 who arrived that week.

And why we find it fascinating the Mark Warner employee v Mark Warner reservation ratio in the first 2 weeks of May 2007, is an amazing 1 to 1.

There were 33 Mark Warner employees listed and during the week April 28 - May 5 there were 34 Mark Warner reservations (Berry, Brain, Bullen, Burlton, Carpenter, Clifford, Cox, Davies, Edmonds, Foster, Handy, Heselton, Hynd, Irwin, Janczur, Jensen, Mackenzie Mann, McCann, McCormick, Mills, Naylor, Newman, O’Brien, O'Donnel, Oldfield, Patel, Payne, Reap, Sperrey, Taylor, Thornhill, Totman and Weinburger).

In the week May 5 - May 12, there were 31 Mark Warner reservations (Arundel, Atterton, Baker, Berry, Black, Burdekin, De la mare, Fricker, Fry, Goodyer, Harlow, Harrison, Henderson, Hynd, Kerrigan, Kilby, Mackenson, Mahye, Mortimer-Ball, Mullard, Newman, Parker, Parr, Peart, Ring, Savage, Stinton-Heeley, Turner, Vincent, Wood and Zelewitz).

Please note that only 2 of the 33 employees are customer support related, Emma Knights (Customer Service Manager) and Robert Cook (Driver/Maintenance). There's also Robert Ragone (Kid's Chef) but he's childcare related and not for the normal Mark Warner customer.

Of the 33 employees, with the exception of the 2 mentioned, Emma and Robert, none are dedicated to customer related services such as food, cleaning and laundry. These services have to be paid for by Mark Warner to who provides them, and that would be to the Ocean Club.

Taking into account that before May the occupancy was lower (at least expected to be so), that would mean that for a significant period of time, Mark Warner had more employees than reservations in Praia da Luz. 

10. Mark Warner Ocean Club Praia da Luz Resort (145 workers – 90 new)

As per above said:

- Ocean Club – 112 workers (57 new)

- Mark Warner – 33 workers (33 new)

54 people to start with and increase to 145 to full booking. That's a growth of 168%. And all 9 weeks before “summer surge” and 5 weeks before the medium occupancy expectancy. Talk about being ready in time!

It's quite clear that for the resort known as the Ocean Club, in 2007, it's high occupancy period started during the Easter period, reaching its pinnacle 3 weeks after and lasting all the way up to September:

Or in terms of seasonal employment:

Or in terms of “tourism diet”:

This can only be because of one of two reasons: very bad management skills or indeed an unusual but real high occupancy rate period. As the reader knows, we think it was because of the latter and certainly not because of the first.

11. Let the magic begin

John Hill says he “works in the Ocean Club since March 2006”  and is identified in his statement as manager of the “Ocean Club - Praia da Luz - Lagos” and yet he doesn't appear on the Ocean Club staff list.

Some witnesses refer to him being the MW manager in Luz. Yet he doesn't appear in the Mark Warner staff list.

Anyone know why?

Maybe for the same reason as why his wife, Donna Hill, doesn't appear in either list too. Donna who we remind readers, says on May 4 2007 that she is the MW Childcare coordinator.

The Hills being missing is but one of many “vanishing act” which we hope to show soon.

Not exactly magic but isn't it interesting to see José Carlos Fernandes da Silva listed as a receptionist? The same José da Silva, driver, who was given the arguido status in July 2014 together with Malinka and 2 other poor souls?

Acknowledgments: We would like to thank 2 of our friends, Shaherazade and FightingWoman for helping us with this post.


  1. Hi Textusa, another complex read of person's employed by MW/OC group.
    Had a quick look at the Daily Express article linking Jose Da Silva employed as a receptionist 26/03/2007, seems as though UK journalist in the article implicating person's as suspects of Abduction scenario?
    On several videos taken over the years of Kate and Gerry, they allude to the fitting together of all the "piece's in the jigsaw puzzle" is it similar to DCI Redwood and Crime watch reconstruction?
    I urge people to look at Jeanmonroe article from jillhavern forum about the Jill Dando murder and take a close look at the Senior Criminal Detectives in these Investigations?
    Now we have a very Senior Police Commander who has possibly"withheld Evidence"of former Police Officers involvement in a Racist Murder in London in the 1990's, the parents of the deceased have been trying to uncover this murky world of finding out the "Truth"since their son's demise.
    I can only wish the Lawrence Family to be steadfast and resilient as you have been since yours son's murder,"The Truth has to come out" "Justice Denied is not Justice", Rest in Peace, "Stephen Lawrence"

  2. Sorry to sound flippant, but the Tourism of SY "Operation Grange" stranger Abduction remit and their entourage must have had some effect and it can only be negative since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?
    Surely the debacle must have effected the name of Portugal, when the UK press/MSM Jim Gamble,etc allude to their Police Force, PJ as "incompetent" "Sardine Munches" wine swigging long lunches?
    Kettle calling the Pot Black!

    1. Anonymous 10 Apr 2015, 12:01:00,

      That is very debatable as Crosland says in a later date that the resort was not affected by what happened and there are reports of employees stating the business went the same way it always did.

      It is debatable but is also irrelevant for the current post.

      The analysis is about before the events, not after. Post just shows that the 2007 high-season for Ocean Club appears to have been different for others in the Algarve. Much earlier.

    2. Are you implying that there may have been a special convention, where selected person's only or am I off radar?

    3. Anonymous 10 Apr 2015, 15:44:00,

      We have the habit of stating facts and leave to each of our readers to wonder by themselves what implications those facts might or might not have.

      In this present post we have given our opinion: either "very bad management skills or indeed an unusual but real high occupancy rate period" from Easter to the end of August, at least (we have no data that would allow to us make any sort of analysis after that).

    4. I have always been troubled about how they done it. I know they done it but can't figure out how. How do so many ordinary people get involved in this and yet nobody breaks their silence. Now beginning to realise that they were not ordinary people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Those sort of people will break. Thanks Textusa starting to realise that now that these people have been strategically placed to carry out the deception

    5. 15:44

      It had to be a very long convention...

  3. Totally! If it reads like a script, walks like a script and talks jiberish like a script, its probably a script.

    "Everybody lies", said the investigation, and therefore the answer must lie elsewhere.

  4. Great Post Textusa.......Unless people have followed this case and have been exposed to your (or others) analysis, it is impossible to convince them of the couples guilt. While they have heard the rumours they think that with so many people involved have accepted their story. I gave my views I don’t give myself the hassle of being a champion of the truth sorry. However I have witnessed often you defending the swinging theory to people on this blog and heard it dismissed on other sites. I have to say it’s something that most logical people that I have discussed it with find this a very plausible reason for the holiday. Families go to the continent is for the sun, the beaches and all the lovely activities which can only be enjoyed in very warm climates. They would just barf at the idea of going to the Algarve in April; they are not guaranteed the weather. They consider people going at the end of April go because its dirt cheap and they have other non family related activity and that families going at this time do so because they can’t or won’t pay the cost of going later in the season. Hardly something which will apply to affluent middle class doctors. I know I appear to be stereotyping here but I personally find it a popular opinion and since they have not provided us with any other explanation the swinging is considered very plausible

    1. Martin Brunt must not have been invited with his mack! Sorry!

  5. Great post Textusa - it is a seriously tangled web of lies and deceit. I just hope that all involved feel fear as this may well come to a conclusion very soon.

    Greetings from Portugal.

    1. No wonder Robert Murat requested they all come back to Portugal. My feeling is that - it is most probably embarrassment and ego which prevents them from shaming the devil and telling the truth.

  6. Can there not be a simpler explanation? for example - UK GP's often went to Portugal in low season, all expense paid by the various drug companies.

    1. With Dianne Webster, sleeping on a sofa bed? Don't think so.

    2. I remember reading that there were only one ot two other doctors apart from the T9.
      Besides, drug companies do not offer cheap bargains. 4 or 5 star hotels or cruise ships. Not a place like Ocean Club with 10 minute walk to the beach and another 10 minutes to have meals.

    3. There were quite a few more doctors than one or two, they did not all seem to have their title on the guest list. I would think at least six to eight more plus NHS PFI expert. Looked more like a pharma freebie hence reluctance to reveal how booking was paid by GM. Plus conference room with 75 seats - could be to push latest drugs.

    4. Anonymous 14 Apr 2015, 19:51:00,

      To say "there were quite a few more doctors than one or two" is a little too generic.

      Could you please list the other doctors present besides the T9? The 6 to 8 (at least) others you say you think were present plus name the NHS PFI expert you speak of.

      Also, could you please say where in PdL is that 75 seat conference room?

    5. Working for a private health company, whose shareholders comprise mainly GPs / consultants / specialty doctors etc I can assure that no drug company would stage any conference / sales exhibition in such a place as this. Please think again. YOu have only to use google to see a typical location ofr a drug related conference.

  7. Great Blog Textusa. I keep an open mind about the swinging theory but you do make a strong case. One question. Why do you go for death on the 3rd ? No holiday snaps, creche records, absence at breakfast, retro fitting of stories, last photo.....there is lots to suggest it happened much earlier (29/30 April) which also ties in with RM being summoned. Thanks.

    1. We do no go for death before 3rd ecause existing evidence points otherwise.

      Hastily changed timelines, conflicting statements Gerry and Kate's attitudes suggest a panicky response on the night (if planned, would they not be actively participating in bogus search, being themselves the first to convince others to play along?)

      The mistakes made, window, pointing to wrong bed, no sheets on the cots, sedated twins show that they were reacting rather than acting.

      What was the gain in waiting? To get their act together? It seems they didn't make any good use of that time. Not even to get a big round table to show where they sat at.

      Don't the retrofit stories you allege prove the exact opposite? If they did have the time to think things through, why the need to retrofit the thought out story?

      What about Philip Edmonds letter about Maddie being in playground on May 3rd He states clearly he photographed Maddie. Is Edmonds a liar? We think he was telling the truth.

      Is it because of the créche sheets (evidently as fake as the Tapas reservation sheets) have doubtful handwritings? Those sheets have a purpose and it wasn't to show that Maddie was or wasn't there.

      Is it because of the last picture being evidently photoshopped? And the photoshopping of other pictures? And that proves what? For us it proves that they were desperate in showing a family time that did not exist. They were not there to take family pics, so they didn't have them. But to justify a "family holiday" they had to produce some, didn't they? Aren't the ones known too few for a week's holiday? We think they are, but to photoshop takes time and effort and it's not as easy as taking a picture, is it?

      We are not persuaded by early death theories based on pre-planning, premeditated murder and substitute child - the one who has been named, has been so without ANY no supporting evidence the child was ever present. A terrible way to involve a real child in a totally unbelievable scenario.

      We do not fall for the myth that all blonde-girls look alike. That is as stupid and xenophobic as saying that all Chinese or all black people look alike. We challenge people to google up a pic of a 4 yr old blonde girl we would confuse with Maddie.

      And did sub-girl have a coloboma (or significant "fleck" in her eye as per late mind changing of her parents about the illness)? The picture on the cover of Kate's book shows clearly a girl with a very significant mark on her eye which would make inevitably anyone looking at her notice it.

      Please understand why death before the third exists.

      It benefits only one person.

      All others (guests, Ocean Club and nannies) are "thrown" from participants who were caught up in events and complied lie so as to "confirm" a scenario that was condemning to the T9 into being active participants who acted in a disgusting and sick play in roles they accepted for days to be a part of.

      This said, we inform we will not get into any debate on the sub child theory. We think we have sufficiently justified why we won't.

    2. Hi Textusa, If you cannot debate"sub child theory"Doe's this mean another addition to your theories post threads, as a previous post I had read, that "No Cadaver"was detected on a male person's clothing or it wasn't subjected to Eddie and Keela, Cadaver dogs are unreliable when their work is scrutinised,GM?
      I know it is not your concern,but if the Labour Party are elected to form the next UK Government, will they suddenly bring to conclusion "Operation Grange"certain Buddies had close friends in 2007-2010.former Home Secretary Alan Johnson declined to re-open Madeleine's disappearance,what did he know and who it could implicate?

    3. Anonymous 12 Apr 2015, 18:44:00,

      Please do not confuse cannot with will not. We will not.

      The political courage to solve this case (using Mr Amaral«s words) is independent of political power.

      The arguments we have presented against closure of case are valid independent of individual at Nº10. It was Nº10 who opened the case, only Nº10 can close it. With all the implications that means.

  8. Still keen to hear about why the dogs did not indicate at RM's address based on your thoughts that a body was placed there for a period of time. You did say you were going to come back to that. Other than that, loving your work!

    1. Anonymous11 Apr 2015, 17:56:00

      As promised we will do so. According to our own timings, evidentlly.

  9. More great writings Textusa!
    Can i ask why you think Edmonds' photographs of Madeleine weren't shown publicly,surely it isn't just because of "Swinging"??
    And ,that being the case,Edmonds would'nt have mentioned annything about his Photographs????

    1. Anonymous 12 Apr 2015, 17:35:00,

      Mr Edmonds says he handed the pictures over to the police. The pictures in the files have been intentionally saturated into black and white to avoid recognition as stated in the PJ Files.

      If we were to recognise Mr Edmonds photos, it would mean the PJ had done a bad job.

      The photos we do recognise are those which we have the original to compare with.

      This means we do not know if the Mr Edmonds pictures are or not in the files (saying this because he could have handed them over to the British authorities, who, as we know, have withheld documentation).

      The option to show them publicly is a choice to be made by Mr Edmonds, not anyone else.

      We see no reason for Mr Edmonds to lie and see many for him to be have been truthful, namely the "celebrity status" that the case had already achieved when he wrote the letter, which would strongly advise not to put on paper anything that he wasn't sure of.

    2. Of course you are correct in this. I think that had the rest of those involved been aware of the "celebrity status" that this case would attract, everyone (barr none) of them would have made different decisions with regards the lies and deciet they perpretrated. I think this is a massive advantage that the current investigation has over the first investigation. Those being interviewed this time are forewarned.

    3. in reply to anon 13.03, "Celebrity status"All we know for certain is reliance on the "Witness Statements taken"that Madeleine McCann was last seen a live by her parents and DP in apartment 5A Ocean Club Complex 3 May 2007.17.30-22.00hrs Fact?!
      Sonia Poulton and Rosilinda Hutton, must have kissed and made up from their MSM/SC*M spat,be wary, the Neglect of the parents scenario?
      SP has not produced her response documentary about the disgusting treatment of Mrs. Brenda Leyland of the disappearance of Madeleine wanting the Truth to be heard!
      Aspersions are being cast that the MSM/Murdoch's are possibly funding this documentary?
      It is becoming some what "cloak and dagger" and would seem to be based on the Judicial proceedings in Portugal defamation case of who triumphs, I would like to remind people that it is not Celebrity status that has made this case?
      The person's who made the disappearance of "Madeleine into celebrity status" were the McCann and Healy,Corner, famlies/CM subverting the "Official Investigation process?"

    4. 13.02 how is that a response to me(13.03) my comment was that people finding themselves in the same position knowing what they know today i.e. the release of the files and the rise of social media blogs, forums etc would not have allowed themselves to be caught up in this the way they have. I've said many times before I cringe when I read how Textusa exposes their lies imagine how they feel. I'm a law abiding citizen and this case makes we think twice before I commit anything to record. Besides the need to correct that I agree with your post

  10. Thanks Textusa for another detailed and well researched post.

    That staff to guest ratio is rather extraordinary isn't it, pre-season.

    I hadn't realised the Hills didn't appear on either the Ocean Club or Mark Warner staff lists.

    That's very interesting.

    Nuala x

  11. Hi,i am new here to this Blog,and the research and detail of the case is so commendable!

    I have followed this case since day one and it's unbelieveable that it hasn't been solved!(poor Madeleine)
    It is simply heart wrenching!!
    Thank you for all your work on putting this great Forum together,i do very much enjoy reading,along with The Mccann Files!

  12. A poem for the latest unpublished anons:

    The List

    Now listen carefully ,
    I'll only say this one time
    as I'm only a little cat
    and I don't 'do' rhyme
    I know you're new here
    and that's understood ,
    but if you want to stay here
    you have to be good
    There's a list of rules
    for this house
    that includes no climbing curtains
    or chasing the 'pet' mouse
    If you follow the list,
    life here
    can be very, very sweet
    you'll get a nice comfy bed
    and plenty to eat
    Talking about food
    there' s just a couple more things
    I'd like to say
    before we dine,
    We have to say 'Grace' first
    so please get in line
    and what's more important
    is this fact,
    That 's your bowl there
    and this one' s mine.

    From our friend Rosemary Smith from Facebook

  13. Hi Textusa,on the night that Madeleine disappeared/Abducted?
    Did GM/KH say in a statement that Gerry was watching Football on TV in the Apartment on his 21.05 check of the children?
    You would think it "Odd" that a parent would be watching football in an apartment, whilst you Kin are a sleep,"Gerry must have had the sound turned down, so as not to disturb the Abductor, Sorry about being flippant?!

    1. Anonymous 15 Apr 2015, 14:23:00,

      It's Jane Tanner who says that Kate was worried about Gerry taking too long in his check because he was probably watching football.

      It's not a statement to the police. It's something she says for the Channel 4's "The Cutting Edge" a 2009 documentary which we call here the Mockumentary. She says when she's told that not knowing on which side ot a street 2 men (one with a stroller facing "that way") are is just a discrepancy.

    2. Wasn't Jane's Partner Russell O'Brien looking after their daughter who was struck by illness on his children check with Matt Oldfield around the same time as Gerry was absent from the BRT?

    3. Jane Tanner made the statement about the football in her rogatory statement to the Leics police .(Part 4)

    4. Stand corrected then, JJ.

      Maintain she said it also in the memorable moment described.

  14. Hi Textusa, I know it is not relevant to this post,"Operation Enamel"love the name?
    This investigation carried out by Leicestershire Police Force were deeply "disappointed" that the Crown Prosecution Service announced there decision Not to Prosecute a Peer with sexual abuse, The 86 yr old Labour Peer is now suffering with Dementia (no offence to dementia suffers intended) up until 2014, this peer was still active enough to attend the House of Lords and claim expenses in this role as a Lord?!
    Rest in peace Mr Frank Beck, who had the integrity to stand up for the "Abused subjects". Mr Beck was jailed and was in the process of appealing his conviction when he apparently had a Heart Attack with in the prison, prior to this the man was in good health and the Solicitor representing him had a mysterious car accident!?

      Richard Henriques will be investigating past CPS decisions on Janner

    2. A very angry Assistant Chief Constable of LP interviews on Channel 4 tonight, saying Janner should have been taken to court. Alison Saunders, CPS chief, defending her position, after receiving medical evidence of Janner's dementia.
      Maybe LP are still smarting over the way they were manipulated in the Maddie case?
      This isn't the end of the Jenner affair!

  15. Every photograph of the couple, the man and/or the woman speaks for itself. All the time. McCann Erickson wouldn't do better. Richard Hall dissected the Phantoms in this case. To see for free at Richplanet.

  16. Richard d Hall!! Very informative.
    But how have those "suspects",the Man and woman, not gone to the PJ to clear their names??


Comments are moderated.

Comments are welcomed, but its reserved the right to delete comments deemed as spam, transparent attempts to get traffic without providing any useful commentary, and any contributions which are offensive or inappropriate for civilized discourse.