The canaries throw themselves onto the Canary Islands Day bridge and fill ships, planes and hotels

The shipping companies Armas and Fred Olsen have reinforced their route between Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura due to strong demand. / Juan Carlos Alonso

It is expected to exceed the occupancy and demand figures for 2019. Some maritime routes take full days and have forced to put a second ship

Canaries They have launched themselves on the Canary Islands Day bridge, after two years of the pandemic, with great force.

This festivity is traditionally used by island residents to move between islands or go down to the south as it is a short bridge. Some add one day more and take the opportunity to leave the archipelago but the vast majority stay on the islands.

they are the main protagonists in a month of May that is usually quite weak in occupationalthough this year the figures have improved thanks to foreign tourism 'dammed up' in the months of January and February by the sixth wave of covid.

The peculiarity this year is that, after two years of restrictions, travel in 2022 will exceed pre-Covid figures, as recognized by the maritime and airline companies consulted.

As of yesterday, all routes were on average at 80% occupancy and as sources of the
shipping company, last-minute travelers remain to be added. "It is very likely that 100% will be reached on some routes," they indicated.

As usual in a short bridge like this one,
the route between Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria is one of the most popular. The day of greatest departure is Friday and the return day is Monday.

The demand is so strong that the shipping companies have been forced to put a second ship between Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria for the strongest days.

The line between Tenerife and Gran Canaria also registers an intense demand, like Tenerife-La Gomera, with two strong departure days, Friday and Saturday. “The desire to move is noticeable. We are above 2019 ”, indicate sources of Arms.

In the case of
fred olsen, according to their data, this bridge will move 50,000 passengers and almost 14,000 vehicles. This represents 64% more passengers than in 2021 and 46% more cars, but it must be clarified that last year Canary Islands Day fell on a Sunday and there was no long weekend. In 2020, the Day of the Canary Islands fell into confinement and there was no possibility of moving.

The routes with the most demand in the case of this shipping company are Gran Canaria-Tenerife; Tenerife-La Gomera and Gran Canaria-Fuerteventura.

As far as airlines are concerned,
Binter will increase its seats between Friday 27 and Monday by 12% compared to a week without a long weekend, which means 7,700 extra seats.

The most requested routes are the connections with El Hierro and La Palma, while at the national level, they are the destinations of Oviedo and Murcia. At the national level, demand grows especially with Madeira and Lille, according to the airline. Connections with the Tenerife South airport are also growing.

The manager of the Canarian Association of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators (Acavytt), José Luis de la Rosarecognizes that this year more Canarians will move than in the 2019 bridge, despite the high prices of accommodation establishments.

In this sense, he considers that the
hotel prices “has deflated” part of the demand that has chosen not to move now and leave it for the summer. "There are many islanders who have chosen to wait and hold out until summer because prices are outrageous," she says.

De la Rosa does not dispute that prices have had to rise due to the increase in energy costs and inflation, but he assures that they have discouraged many Canarians from leaving this bridge.

"The generalized comment of some colleagues is that, that the price of hotels has pushed back more than one", he indicates.

His opinion contrasts with that of hoteliers, who assure that in May the prices of accommodation establishments "are tight" because it is a month of high supply (for Mediterranean destinations) and little demand (national and international).

"Thanks to the Canaries and this bridge, a peak in demand is generated but, as they say, one swallow does not make a summer," says the member of the Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurs (FEHT) of the province of Las Palmas and
CEO of the Be Cordial & Resorts chain, Nicolás Villalobos.

As he points out, for the demand of the canaries, it will make many establishments hang the "full" sign over the weekend, although the rest of the month will be around 70%.

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