2020/10/22 10:28:44 Written by Canarian Weekly National

Germany has lifted the veto on tourism in the Canary Islands, after Angela Merkel's government announced this morning (Thursday) to remove the Canary Islands from the black list of tourist destinations due to good epidemiological numbers and the low rate of infections.

The President of the Canary Islands Government, Ángel Víctor Torres, welcomes the decision of the German government, which last night lifted the veto and removed it from the list of destinations discouraged for German tourism.

“The German government decided last night, and due to the favourable epidemiological situation, that the Canary Islands leave the risk areas to allow their citizens to travel. The measure comes into effect on this Saturday, October 24th. This is great news, "said Torres, adding that "German tourists will now be able to holiday in the islands without having to quarantine on their return home."

This is a positive decision that can have a strong impact on the archipelago with the start of the winter tourist season imminent, the high season in the Canary Islands, and Germany is its second biggest tourist market, after the United Kingdom.

Germany had kept the Canary Islands out of its recommendation for most of the summer not to travel to Spain due to the cases that were occurring during the second wave of the pandemic, but ended up including it on September 2nd. The decision was a massive blow to the tourism sector, which had already seen how the United Kingdom had decided to require  quarantine for all travelers returning from Spain, including the islands, at the end of July which stopped British tourists coming to the islands.

Of the 13.1 million foreign tourists who visited the Canary Islands last year, more than half came from just two countries: 4.87 million from the United Kingdom (37.2% of the total) and 2.51 million from Germany (19.1%), according to data from the Canary Institute of Statistics (ISTAC) taken from the Frontur survey.

On the island with the most German tourists, Gran Canaria, the occupancy of hotel beds at the beginning of this week was 6%, according to figures released by the sector's employers' association.

Only in the last two months of 2019, November and December, half a million German tourists chose the Canary Islands as a destination for their vacations, indicates ISTAC data.