Canaries expect to recover 50% of the 2019 tourist numbers in August
The Minister of Tourism for the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla, announced yesterday, during the presentation of the strategy of transformation of the tourist model of the islands to cater for the 'post-covid' visitor, that the forecasts for August this year are optimistic. "The figure must be taken with caution and realism," Castilla said, making it clear that the Government does not want to generate "false expectations" after a difficult year.
The estimates that the Ministry of Tourism have put forward, indicate that in August of this year the Canary Islands will recover 50% of the tourist activity that they registered in the same month of 2019. However, as she was keen to stress, to reach this figure the health situation has to evolve as planned today, without new unknown circumstances, such as variants or mutations of the virus that take it out of control again.
Although, Castilla called for caution in the face of an uncertain virus, that has already led to the opening and closing of hotels up to three times in the last year, due to tourist forecasts that were not met due to outbreaks, restrictions and confinement in the countries that send tourists to the islands.
“It seems that there are good expectations. Positive news is beginning to reach us, such as the progress of vaccination, which we hope will intensify to go as fast as we would like. There is also the possibility that restrictions will be lifted in the issuing markets, and that the vaccination passport will be launched at a European level which would benefit us, it leads us to be positive and think that recovery may come sooner rather than later, but we have to be prudent," Castilla said.
Added to the good expectations of the Government, are the reactions that have occurred in different source markets, such as the British, each time the possibility of opening abroad for the holidays is glimpsed. It happened last week when UK bookings soared between 300-600% after Boris Johnson announced a de-escalation plan that should allow international travel after May 17th.
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"There is still demand, a desire to travel, and especially to the Canary Islands", she said, and pointed out that all the tour operators with whom the Ministry of Tourism has maintained close contact with since the pandemic broke out, agree that Interest in the islands is growing. “It is something very positive because it highlights all the effort and work that the Canarian tourism industry has developed over so many years. This does not happen overnight," she added.
With an eye precisely on the reactivation of tourism and the recovery of the sector, the Ministry is working to promote air connectivity. The director of Promotur, Juan José Lorenzo, also announced yesterday in the presentation of the new tourism strategy, that the Ministry will invest 500,000 euros to relaunch the Incentive Fund to Air Connectivity, created in 2017 and which has had such good results for the islands.
This fund, which will be launched in the next few days and will last for two months, is expected to be "the definitive take-off" of tourist activity, according to Lorenzo. This fund will be followed by another that will be launched in the second half of the year and with a greater endowment so that the islands can recover part of the connectivity lost due to Covid.