“Selling out for the summer” signs for Canaries?
Visitor numbers in the Canary Islands have hit a record level, tourism chiefs have revealed, but there are still niggling concerns over Brexit.
Many hotels in the archipelago are nearly sold out, boosted by problems else-where, and all the indications suggest a bumper summer.
But the holiday industry says every effort must be made to keep the islands at the top of the list and to encourage the Brits to keep on coming here.
The concerns revolve around the deflated pound against the euro amid nervousness surrounding the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
The greatest fear for the Canaries is that British peope might curtail their holidays and stay at home instead.
At the moment, however, signs are looking very good.
In the first half of the year, the archipelago received 6,367,420 million tourists, representing 12 per cent more than in the same period of 2015. The increase was even more striking in June, when 936,497 tourists stayed in the Canary Islands, which is 17.9 per cent more than the same month the previous year.
The boom is being reflected in the whole of Spain, with 32.8 million foreign tourists in the first six months of 2016, 11.7 per cent more than in the same period last year.
As for the origin of tourists, 42.4 per cent of arrivals to the Canary Islands in June came from the UK, hence the concern in the sector about Brexit. The next biggest market was Germans, who accounted for 23 per cent of visitors to the islands.
This winter is also looking good but the concern is for 2017. Tourism chiefs say all efforts must be concentrated on job quality, modernisation and improvement of the tourism infrastructure, training and competitiveness of the sector.