Anger over 60% ticket price increases to go to Timanfaya and other places in Lanzarote
Tensions are rising in Lanzarote due to the disagreement between the Cabildo and the FTL tourist association, after they denied that they had reached an agreement with the island council to increase the entrance fees to certain cultural centres on the island, including the Timanfaya National Park and the Jameos del Agua.
Last Monday, the Lanzarote Cabildo announced the agreement to update the entrance fees for tourists and visitors to the CACT Art, Culture and Tourism Centres, which will take effect on January 1st, 2024.
However, there is a dispute over the increases as visiting Las Montañas del Fuego goes from 12 to 20 euros, a rise of 60% that the tourism sector considers unfeasible, and the 100% increase in the Bonos for six activities which goes up from 35 euros to 71 euros.
Nobody questions that the price of tickets to the Tourist Centres should be increased, but where they disagree with Minister Ángel Vázquez, is that the increase should not be undertaken in one go, but rather, it has to be gradual, staggered over several years. Vázquez maintains that production costs, inflation and tax increases have not been staggered for anyone and they must be updated as soon as possible.
On Monday, the president of Lanzarote, Oswaldo Betancort, praised the "working together to unblock this situation and reach an island agreement that is the result of consensus, farsightedness, dialogue, and thinking above all about the benefit of Lanzarote and La Graciosa."
However, Marta Callejo, the president of the Association of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators of Lanzarote, which is part of the FTL, stated that the expected agreement has not been reached. "Even though we agree that we need to give real value to tourist centres, we have not been able to reach an agreement for this increase to be gradual and respecting the tourist calendar. We are key players in bringing people to the island, and we have not been sufficiently taken into account," she said.
Both the Association and the Tourist Federation of Lanzarote raised three main points. Firstly, they proposed a gradual increase in the price of tickets, distributing it in staggered or progressive increments. The second request aimed for the increase to start applying from May 1st, when the next tourist season begins, and not from January 1st, in the middle of the winter season. Finally, they also demanded the reauthorization of the sale of individual tickets and the continuation of selling passes for direct customers, as well as for travel agencies and tour operators.
The Association's president had already publicly expressed the sector's discontent with this "drastic" increase, which in some cases will reach up to 60%. "There is no product or service that has increased by 60% in a year," lamented Callejo, who believes that this is an "exorbitant" hike that will harm the sale of tourist routes offered by travel agencies and tour operators.
"If they raise the prices of entrance tickets to tourist centres and also eliminate the passes, the spending capacity at the destination will be reduced, and tourists will consume less in other activities, such as leisure, restaurants, or commerce," she emphasised, pointing out the damage to other sectors, such as transportation or tourist guides.
Other articles that may interest you...