Scientific and Therapeutic Tourism

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Madeira stands out for its climate and therapeutic effects. As of the second half of the eighteenth century, Madeira becomes a resort of therapeutic ends, using the preventive qualities of its climate to cure tuberculosis.

The island’s mild climate, with a somewhat constant temperature all day round, and its weak daylight and annual temperature range, are attractive qualities to advertise Madeira as a recommended and highly sought after island.

Madeira’s fame in the therapeutic tourism quickly spreads throughout Europe and the island takes advantage of the European instability of the time, where liberal wars block the access roads to health resorts of southern Italy and France. The maritime traffic to such areas, with English, German and Russian nationals, ends up being diverted to the region which, of course, has a very positive outcome.

Throughout the nineteenth century, Madeira witnessed the socialising of poets, writers, politicians and aristocrats. The island remained, for a long time, as the resting site for these patients. Nowadays, it is considered to be Europe’s first and main cure and convalescence resort.

The increasingly assiduous presence of these patients, emphasized the need to create more supporting infrastructures: sanatoriums, lodging and agents who served as intermediaries between these outsiders and owners of such spaces.

Tourism, as we understand it today, was taking its first steps.
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