Loro Parque: ‘We are losing an average of two and a half million euros per month’
There are tens of thousands of companies in the Canaries that are suffering the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, and most of them, small or medium-sized, have been able to save a large part of their activity thanks to ERTE. However, there is one that due to its own idiosyncrasy has not been able to benefit from this help, and that is Loro Parque.
Its owner, Wolfgang Kiessling, gave an interview on COPE radio where he explained that at present they have about half of the zoo's staff still working "since the animals need to eat, train and receive the appropriate care", while the rest remain in ERTE.
Up to now the Loro Parque Group has remained calm, and to date has not requested any help from the Canary Islands Government, but in Kiesslings own admission, they will not be able to hold out much longer, around “two or three months with the current situation”.
The award winning best zoo in Europe, was until before the pandemic, one of the must-see facilities for thousands of tourists who came to Tenerife, with the group turning over on average around 80 million euros per year. They have gone from “about 3,000 people coming to Loro Parque every day, to now receiving, in an organized way, only 27 daily”.
A TON OF FISH EVERY DAY FOR FOOD:
Another of the expenses that Loro Parque has to face are the food and treatments that the animals receive. The owner of the group gave the example of the penguins, of which there are around 300, "each of them consumes a minimum of 10 kilos of fish, something similar to sea lions, or dolphins." Although it’s the Orcas who by far eat the most in terms of quantity of food!
He also highlighted that although it is true that Loro Parque's expenses are high taking into account that the income is close to zero, not all the companies in the group are in the same situation. For example, in the case of the Hotel Botanico in Puerto de La Cruz, it is only necessary to maintain “five or six members of staff for security and maintenance”, similar to the situation at Siam Park, in the south of Tenerife.
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"NOT HAVING INVESTED IN EL VERIL HAS ALLOWED US TO SAVE THE SITUATION"
Just a month ago the sentencing of the Superior Court of Justice annulled the Governments Modernization plan of the El Veril area in Mas Palomas due to the lack of a water report, preventing the construction of Siam Park in Gran Canaria. This is something that Kiessling did not like at the time, but that now says is a blessing in disguise: "because we have not invested in the park yet, that money has been allocated to cover other expenses." Of course though, they won’t give up on building it.
Regarding the possible return of tourists to the Archipelago, he believes that it is better to be cautious and gave as an example what happened in Australia where a single tourist with Covid infected dozens of people, forcing the borders to be closed again. Regarding a specific date, he considers that the advance in vaccination could allow the return of the first tourists around the month of May, although he believes that the long-awaited normality won’t happen until the winter season.