Canary residents are bridging the gap in tourism numbers by staying local
Local holidaymakers recognised as “vital third market”
Residents of the Canary Islands who choose to take a break within the archipelago rather than travelling further afield are being applauded by tourism chiefs as “a key market”.
Domestic tourism is expected to end the year at nearly 16 per cent up, with more than 1.5 million Canarian residents staying on one of the islands.
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Yaiza Castilla said the Canarian market is a “key market” and in figures occupies the third place in number of clients staying in accommodation establishments of the islands, after English and German.
The Government has allocated through Promotur 350,000 euros for local promotion campaigns, pro-moting identity elements as a tool for differentiation.
Canaries generate a turn-over of around 460 million euros on their vacations in the islands, not counting travel expenses.
Throughout the year, different campaigns are carried out to coincide with Easter, summer vacations, Christmas and long weekends.
According to the Survey of Accommodation in Tourist Establishments of the Canary Institute of Statistics (ISTAC), residents of Gran Canaria and Tenerife are the ones who travel less and prefer to stay in hotel establishments or apartments on their own island, to a large extent because they have a wide choice. But when they leave, in the case of the Gran Canarians, they choose a trip to Fuerteventura and Tenerife, followed closely by Lanzarote. In turn, the least visited islands internallly are El Hierro and La Gomera.
Tenerife residents travel to Gran Canaria first, followed by La Gomera and, to a lesser extent, Fuerteventura. In the case of the islanders of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Gomera, they prefer Gran Canaria.
One of the most striking figures is that very few Lanzarote residents visit La Gomera (only 61 lodged) or El Hierro (only 123 people).
The island that has received more residents throughout this year is Gran Canaria, with 43.8%, being the largest recipient. It is closely followed by Tenerife, with 30.2%, then a big gap to Fuerteventura (8.6%), Lanzarote (7.8%), La Gomera (4.8%), La Palma (3.9%) and El Hierro (0.9%).
The contribution of the Canary Islands’ resident who travels within the archipelago itself has also been estimated by the Tourism Research Area of Promotur. Taking into account the 2018 data regarding hotel and extra-hotel billing, their economic contribution was 226 million euros, without accounting for other expenses associated with their stay such as restaurants, supermarkets, leisure activities, shopping or vehicle rental.
Under the assumption that this segment makes a daily expenditure in destination similar to that of the peninsular, the turnover for these other concepts could reach 260 million euros. In addition, to this must be added the displacements by boat or plane, as well as the expense generated by tourists staying in second homes, friends and family homes or vacation homes, not considered in this estimate.
The Canarian market, along with the peninsular, comes to compensate the seasonality of the flows of tourists from other foreign markets, contributing to increase the occupation in periods of lower demand.