Madeira is an archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, just under 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of Tenerife, Canary Islands. Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the name of Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419 and they started building their settlement in 1420. Sugarcane production was the primary engine of the island’s economy, increasing the demand for labor. African slaves were used during portions of the island’s history to cultivate sugar cane, and the proportion of imported slaves reached 10% of the total population of Madeira by the 16th century, according to sources. After the 17th century, as Portuguese sugar production was shifted to Brazil, São Tomé and Príncipe and elsewhere, Madeira’s most important commodity product became its wine and the British first amicably occupied the island in 1801. As of 2019, Madeira has been awarded ‘Europe’s Leading Island Destination’ five times since 2013 – the exception being 2015 – and four times ‘World’s Leading Island Destination’ since 2015 by the World Travel Awards.