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Tourism chiefs confident Brits are waiting to return to Canaries 

The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce of the Government of the Canary Islands, headed by Yaiza Castilla, has maintained an agenda of telematic meetings on the occasion of the international tourism fair in London, the World Travel Market (WTM), which this year was celebrated completely in virtual environment. 

The primary objective of the appointments that have been
kept from Canary Islands Tourism has been to know the forecasts that the main
operators have on the British tourist market, as well as to negotiate and
anticipate the recovery of air connectivity with the Islands, affected by
Covid-19 .

According to Yaiza Castilla, between last February and the
current month of November, the Canary Islands have lost some 7.2 million air
seats due to the pandemic, “a loss of connectivity that fully affects the
tourism sector.” Of the places that disappeared in this period, 5.1
million correspond to international traffic and 2.1 million to the one from the
peninsula.

Faced with this situation, she said that first-hand contact
with the operators of origin is essential to explain the situation of the
Archipelago and the security that it currently offers as one of the few open
winter tourist destinations.

One of the meetings was held with ABTA. Susan Deer, Director
of Industry Relations, and Angie Hills, Head of Destinations, said the ban on
travel, including domestic flights, until December 2, has caused thousands of
Britons to lose the confidence to go on vacation this winter . The travel
purchase intention is being postponed to the summer of 2021 as they are not
sure they can do so in the winter months.

However, as explained, it has also been detected that the
consumer no longer reserves so much in advance, which does not close the doors
in the face of this Christmas, coinciding with the reopening of the country,
increase purchases at the last minute. What is clear, according to this
association, is that as soon as possible, the British will travel to the
Islands. For this reason they have insisted on the need to have clear
information about the conditions that they must meet to come to the Canary
Islands.

ABTA recommended to the Promotur Turismo de Canarias team,
also present at this online meeting, that promotional actions must incorporate
values ​​such as sustainability, the possibility of enjoying natural
environments and open spaces, since now more than ever they arouse interest of
the audiences, very concerned about sustainable and safe travel. On the other
hand, from the British association of travel agents they pointed out that the
Canary Islands have something that other destinations do not have and that is
that it is well known by the British, which favours their choice, since they
prefer to return to a place where they know what they are going to to find,
rather than venturing out to try new experiences in places to which they are
travelling for the first time. Finally from ABTA they insisted that it is
necessary to work from the confidence so that the client knows what to expect
and not be surprised when she reaches her destination.

EasyJet has confirmed that the Canary Islands are crucial
for them and that when the safe corridors were announced they experienced a
900% increase in reserves that lasted about ten days until the second lockdown
in the country arrived. It also reported that they have more than 300 aircraft
prepared to meet the demand as soon as it is clarified.