La Palma has seen a surge of bookings for people wanting to witness the volcano
This weekend is yet another bank holiday weekend in the Canary Islands, its true there are a few, but this one lasts from today, Saturday, until Thursday! It is called the ‘Puente de la Constitución’ (Constitution Bridge) because the 6th and 8th December are both bank holidays which ‘bridge’ the 7th, which a high proportion of businesses take as well, forming a 5-day bank holiday ideal for shopping or a mini break before Christmas.
This year, ‘volcanic tourism’ is skyrocketing on the island of La Palma with hotels registering good occupancy levels, at a time when a new lava flow has just appeared in the Cumbre Vieja volcano.
The expectations of the hotel sector are "very good, especially because of the current situation which we are in", with around 85% of beds occupied in the east and north of the island, according to Óscar León, president of the Center of Tourist Initiatives (CIT) in La Palma, which brings together a large part of the tourism sector on the island.
As the airport is operational again, air and maritime connections to the Island have increased for these bank holidays, with most people wanting to witness the islands latest tourist attraction the Cumbre Vieja volcano, for themselves.
Binter has scheduled 32 extra flights between La Palma and the Tenerife North and Gran Canaria airports, between today and Wednesday, and Fred.Olsen have two extra sailings between Los Cristianos and Santa Cruz de La Palma.
In total, the volcano has destroyed some 300 hotel beds, particularly of rural tourism homes in the Todoque area, and lava flows mean that more than 5,000 beds are inaccessible, with the Puerto Naos area as the main affected area where a large proportion of the hotel capacity of the southwest of the island is located.
CIT has confirmed that although flights and boats are filling up fast, there are still places to stay available, especially in the Aridane Valley, since most visitors prefer to avoid the area most affected by the volcano. Loen said, "Although the arrival of visitors is very high, a large number of them are Canarians who are choosing to stay in the houses of friends and family on the island, so there are still hotel rooms for those who want to come.”