Canaries working on safe corridor for Italian market from March
Turismo de Canarias and the largest Italian tour operator, Alpitour, are working on resuming operations from the second quarter of the year. The intention of both the Ministry and the TTOO is to create a safe tourist corridor that allows the air connections between Italy and the islands to be resumed progressively.
The Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla, and the managing director of Tourism of the Canary Islands, José Juan Lorenzo, held a meeting with the CEO of Jumbo Tours (representative of Alpitour in Spain), Ginés Martínez, to begin working together towards this reactivation.
The idea of the tour operator is to start at the end of March with a weekly flight between Milan and Tenerife and to increase both the frequencies and the trips to other islands as demand increases. Alpitour considers the Canary Islands a key holiday destination in summer, which is why work will begin to establish a safe corridor between Italy and the archipelago that will allow the tourist flow to recover in the summer season.
“The commitment that Alpitour makes for the Canary Islands is very important for the destination and we share with this tour operator the maxim of reactivating tourism while guaranteeing the maximum safety of both tourists who visit us and residents of the islands,” explains Yaiza Castilla.Alpitour is the main Italian tour operator with a 46% market share after the purchase of its rival Eden Viaggi. According to the TTOO data, in the Canary Islands it controls 85% of the tourist packages that Italians book to the islands, a percentage that exceeds 90% in the case of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
The group is based in Turin and has its own airline, NEOS SPA, which, until last year, operated direct flights to Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Tenerife South from the north of Italy (Milan-Malpensa, Bologna, Verona) and Rome, although right now, due to mobility restrictions imposed to control the pandemic and low demand, they do not have any active operations.In 2019, 291 flights with the Canary Islands operated and brought 59,646 tourists to the islands, 12.5% of the total number of Italians who arrived in the Archipelago that year, figures that fell to 10,530 passengers last year due to the tourist stoppage caused by Covid-19.