Madeira in drive to ditch 'retirement retreat' tag

The Portuguese island of Madeira is to undergo an image makeover to attract younger, wealthier visitors.

The Madeira Promotion Bureau, hunting its first UK agency, has shortlisted four firms to move the island on from its 'retirement retreat' heritage.

'We are seen as an old people's destination,' said bureau director Otto Oliveira. 'Forty-year-olds go trekking in New Zealand – when they're 60 they come here. We want to turn that around and position Madeira as an active destination.'

The winning agency will promote the island's history and its sporting facilities, notably golf and scuba diving. The available budget  is £104,000.

'We do not want to attract teenagers,' he added. 'A younger audience, yes – but not with the problems teenagers bring.'

The bureau is also hiring agencies in Germany, France and the Netherlands.

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