For the second year in a row, tourism professionals face the Canary high season with serious difficulties. For the region, highly dependent on the United Kingdom, the decision to Boris johnson to confine the British country has been a severe blow. Especially after a few weeks ago from the Anglo-Saxon islands the veto of quarantining travelers from the Canary Islands was lifted, which opened the door to save part of the year. «It is a confinement that has taken us by surprise, although the measures of each country must be respected. It will mean millions of dollars in losses “, Tom Smulders, vice president of FEHT, told ABC.
The Canary archipelago already suffered in 2019 the bankruptcy of tour operator Thomas Cook, which caused many travelers to stay ashore or unable to return to their home destinations. For Smulders, “if the United Kingdom continues to beat up its own tourism industry they will have to give multimillion-dollar aid to maintain it or they will go under.” It must be remembered that, according to business sources to this newspaper, The Canary Islands depend, in 65% of the tour operators. In addition, at this time of year it accounts for half of the overnight stays in Spain, the majority of which are British.
From the Cehat hotel association, its president, Jorge Marichal, emphasized how the confinement of the United Kingdom disrupts the companies’ plans. «The scheduled openings on the islands are going to ruin. It is a severe blow to the economy and employment », he comments. For this reason, the hotel management does not understand that the Government of Spain is not having conversations with the United Kingdom to open a safe tourist corridor. “We ask for clear rules at the European level so that mobility is possible safely and so that the economy does not stop”, says Marichal.
But the British confinement is not the only thing that weighs on the Canary Islands. The recommendations of other countries, such as Germany, not to travel also make a dent. Although there are flights from the Germanic country, these are a small number compared to other years. «That the two main markets are affected by the numbers of infections is going to affect the future evolution of the Canary Islands tourism market», Sums up the managing director of Ashotel, Juan Pablo González.
For now, the known data reveals that Until September the Canary Islands had received 64% fewer tourists, while spending falls 66%. It is also relevant that in the ninth month the islands did not receive even 100,000 tourists.
In a national key, yesterday the INE released data on international tourists and tourist spending for September. These confirmed that our country experienced the worst summer, at least of this century, due to the health crisis. Our country received 31.5 million fewer international tourists in the months of June, July, August and September compared to 2019. In total, only 6.2 million tourists, when that number has exceeded thirty million since 2014. Regarding tourism revenues, these fell by 86%, reaching 6,007 million euros. In previous years, spending in summer skyrocketed to beyond 40,000 million euros.
In September, when third country restrictions were still in place, Only 1.1 million tourists arrived, 87% less than in 2019. So far this year, the arrival of tourists has fallen by almost 75%. Tourist spending, on the other hand, fell by 90%, to 967 million euros, while in the accumulated of the year the fall is of more than 75%.