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Dutch, Irish and Belgian tourists help to level Lanzarote’s tourism figures 

PAGE 12 Dutch, Irish and   Belgian tourists help to level Lanzarote's tourism figures

Tourism leaders on Lanzarote believe the island is winning the war to get away from the dependency of the British market and attract new nationalities.

The latest figures show that national tourism increased by 2.9 per cent in Lanzarote between January and August, the second biggest increase behind Gran Canaria.

Overall, tourist numbers are slightly down so far this year, ie a decline of 1.6 per cent but still below the Canary average of 2.2 per cent. In total, the island attracted 1,912,965 tourists in the first eight months of 2018

The average tourist expen-diture in the Canary Islands has also increased by 2.16 per cent.

The Cabildo’s tourism promotion adviser, Ángel Vázquez said this was good news for their desire of “quality over quantity”.

As well as the trend that has been registered in the rest of the archipelago and in Spain with the reopening of other competing destinations such as Egypt, Tunisia or Turkey, the slight decline experienced by the island is mainly due to the decline of British and German tourists, 5.7 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively, a fall that has been dampened in Lanzarote due to the good response from national tourism and to practically all of the other European markets, which have registered significant increases with respect to the same period of 2017.

Especially noteworthy is the increase in national tourism, with an influx of 168,885 tourists from the peninsula, Between January and August this year, this registered an increase of 2.9 per cent, the largest of the archipelago, just behind Gran Canaria.

Likewise, equally notable were the increases expe-rienced by other emerging European countries. In particular, the increase in the arrival of tourists to the island in the first eight months of the year of the Dutch markets (15.8 per cent) is worthy of note; Belgian (12 per cent); Irish (8.9 per cent) and French (3.2 per cent).

Ángel Vázquez said Lanzarote Tourism had deployed a large part of its actions within its market diversification strategies in order to reduce the dependence of the British, which in the case of Isla de los Volcanes accounts for about 50 per cent of all our foreign markets.

Of the increased spending, he said: “This is excellent news and it makes us moderately optimistic because it is part of the objective we have all marked to qualify our destiny and position it as a select, ecological and diversified destination, giving priority to quality versus quantity.”

There is also confidence for the winter season with increased connectivity announced by several airlines.

Ángel Vázquez said the Monarch bankruptcy had been another key factor in the fall of British tourism in the Canary Islands and strikes by other airlines.