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Tenerife holds its own on tourism numbers 


Tourism chiefs believe Tenerife is still overcoming the economic crisis after ending 2012 with nearly five million visitors.

The final total of 4,903,497 is lower than in 2011 but there was unusual growth in that year because the island benefitted from the so-called “Arab Spring” which gave a boost of two to three per cent.

Last year saw a number of difficult factors including Spain’s financial crisis, new recessions for some of the major European economies, increased air rates since last July and the loss in January 2011 of airport bonus rates which the Canaries had enjoyed for the previous two years.

Add to this the central government’s rate hike of 8.5% last January which led some airlines to adjust their offers and rising fuel prices.

Tourism chief and Tenerife Cabildo vice-president, Carlos Alonso said 2012 had been overall a good one for tourism on the island. Tenerife had also managed to strengthen its leadership in the Canaries as, for the first time, it was the leader in passenger traffic in the three main markets of British, Spanish and German.

 Hotel guests increased by 0.4% and five-star hotels did particularly well, increasing numbers by almost 20%. Tenerife also recorded the highest volume of overnight stays in the Canaries.

Sr. Alonso said their main priority now was to increase jobs and in 2012, the tourism sector had remained more buoyant than the rest of the island’s economy. Last year, a total of 70,515 employment contracts were formalised, a growth of 3.4%.

Foreign tourism, despite an improvement in the last months of the year, ended 2012 with a balance of 3,720,409, 3.6% than in 2011. In 2010, because of the Arab Spring, Tenerife gained an estimated 12.5% extra fo-reign holidaymakers so taking away this impact, the real decrease was 1.7% rather than 3.6%.

The Spanish market saw 1,183,088 visitors, a drop of 9.2% but still not as sharp as 2011 when it was 11.1%. Tenerife is still doing better than other regions.

Visitors remain loyal to the island, with 59% returning at some point and 40.4% within five years. On a scale of one to ten, Tenerife gets a satisfaction score of 8.48.

Carlos Alonso said the data showed tourism was a major contributor to im-proving the economy and employment.

Expectations for 2013 are more positive.