Over the past few years so called ‘dark tourism’ has seen a resurgence, but now one man is making headlines after his tour sparked a lot of controversy.
Nine years ago, three-year-old girl Madeleine McCann went missing in Praia Da Luz and now a British grandfather who has been infatuated with the case for years has started doing free tours – taking anybody interested to key places in the disappearance of Maddie, reports The Sun.
The tours take people to the apartment in Praia Da Luz where she was last seen, as well as the bar where her parents were the night she disappeared, and through the streets near the holiday home.
However, what is sparking the most controversy is the fact that the tour is dubbed ‘The Luz Challenge’ and has turned the disappearance of Madeleine McCann into a game where tourists are asked to try and speculate whether Maddie’s parents were involved in the case or not.
The guide posted online:
If you can visit Luz, please get in touch with me, because I would like you to show you the reality.
I think of this as the Luz Challenge. Our version of Mission Impossible.
You have to come up with a way in which the McCanns, for whatever reason, disposed of Madeleine’s body, and the body was not found in searches.
Other spots on the tour include the Our Lady of the Light church – where a search was carried out to see if the toddler had been placed in a coffin – and a street where a witness said he saw a man carrying a child towards the beach.
One Briton who is living in Luz said:
This is totally uncalled for. A little girl going missing should not be made into a game or challenge.
While another added:
The guide is obsessed with Maddie. He’s written thousands of words about the case and pored over maps, photographs and police transcripts.
No trace of Maddie was ever found despite almost a decade long search. Harrowingly, funds for the search party are now beginning to decline.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.