Expats and parents horrified at morbid Madeleine McCann tour

Published:  4 Oct at 6 PM
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A so-called Luz Challenge tour visiting sites connecting with the disappearance of Maddy McCann is enraging local expats and causing pain to the still-missing little girl’s parents.

Expats in the Portuguese resort where Madeleine McCann was kidnapped are up in arms over a morbid tourist attraction involving the apartment where she was kidnapped and other such landmarks. The parents of the still-missing three-year old are said to be very distressed that such a tour could be taking place.

The macabre guided tour was set up by a UK expat grandfather who became obsessed with Maddy’s disappearance after he retired to Portugal. Visitors are taken to the apartment in which the McCanns were staying when their daughter was taken, as well as visiting the restaurant at which her parents were dining the night she disappeared. Several other locations relevant to the police search for Maddy are also included, and the tour is being marketed as a real-life Mission Impossible.

Participants are asked to come up with scenarios including where the parents might have hidden Maddy’s body and the reasons behind her disappearance. UK expats living in the town are furious about the tour, with one telling local media it’s in ‘appalling taste, simply unbelievable and totally uncalled for’. Another said the tour guide is obsessed with Maddy’s disappearance and has written reams about it as well as studying police transcripts, photographs and maps of the area.

Blogging online under various usernames, the guide said he preferred to remain anonymous and accused those reading his blogs of wanting to be a part in a major drama. Since Maddy’s disappearance in 2007, her parents have never given up hope that she might be found one day in spite of the fact that several police investigations have all but given up after four years of searching.

The cruel reality of turning a tragedy into a grisly tourist trap is heartbreaking for Maddy’s family, and the general feeling amongst the expat community is one of anger and disgust that the parents are represented as being responsible.
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