Canaries happy with giant-sized challenge

A RISE of 2% in British tourists visiting the Canary Islands, despite airline connections dropping by 9.3% for low season, spurred officials to try to maintain or improve on this success.

And part of their strategy meant hosting a stand at the World Travel Market, in the multi-purpose ExCel Event Halls, in East London’s Royal Victoria Dock.

The travel trade fair cost the Canary Islands’ regional tourist board 778,000 euros to attend, including the costs of setting up its 770sq/m display, complete with numerous, individual booths for companies.

This was considered to be an investment for a Spanish region depending, largely, on the holiday industry, of which British visitors make up the biggest national group.

About 500 companies, linked to the Canaries’ tourism industry, rented these stands, and attractions included two major nature reserves, Teide National Park  and the huge Gran Canaria aquarium in Las Palmas, as well as a food-tasting area.

La Gomera, smallest of the Canary Islands, whose tourism mostly comes from day-trippers based in Tenerife, had a larger slot this year, and plenty of networking,

Last year, at least 20 meetings were set up between the Canarian regional government and major tour operators, media sources and service providers.

And that number had already been confirmed before the 2017 show, said tourism chief Isaac Castellano.

The regional minister has raised concerns about the British holiday market likely to become more expensive because of the poor euro exchange rate, and the collapse of major industry players, especially given the “uncertainty” surrounding Brexit.

The demise of the now-defunct Monarch airline and tour operator, which, of the 670,000 places available every summer, transported 520,000 British tourists a year to the islands, hasn’t helped, and Castellano admitted there was “no clear alternative” yet.

But his department is in talks with British Airways, Ryanair, EasyJet and Jet2 in the hope of covering some of the Monarch routes.

So far, Jet2 has announced a further 213,757 airline seats from the UK to the Canaries this winter, which is an 87.6% increase, although more are needed to fill the Monarch gap.

Despite Brexit, though, the Canary Islands welcomed over four million British holiday-makers between January and September alone, which was 10.5% up on last year’s figures. And the islands’ beach season during these times can also expect a rise, since its autumn and winter is much milder than on the mainland.

These figures, combined with a forecast increase in German numbers, expected to rise by around 9% through the country’s greater number of airline connections, could mean the Canaries breaking all records by the end of the year.

Last year proved exceptionally-buoyant for the Islands, with historic tourist numbers, and 2017 is expected to be even better.

Based on this success, the Canary Islands expects to create at least another 10,000 jobs in the accommodation and catering industries in the next year.

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Posted by on Nov 9 2017. Filed under Local News, News Alert. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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