The arrival of national tourism to Gran Canaria is stimulating the reactivation of most of the excursions that had been inactive since the beginning of the pandemic. The collapse of tourism since March 2020 in more than 80% motivated by Covid-19 caused, according to official figures from the Gran Canaria Tourism Heritage, that part of the offer of excursions and activities aimed at tourism ceased to be operational .
The tourist collapse has continued in 2021 if we compare the more than 1,275,000 tourists who arrived during the first quarter of 2019 with the slightly more than 121,000 tourists of the first quarter of this year. And taking into account that more than 1,580,000 (more than 85%) were lost in the summer of 2020 compared to the previous year, it is not surprising that a large part of the tourist leisure activities were not very operational or closed until now. summer.
According to Luis Manzano, manager of okgrancanaria.com, the leading portal in the sale of excursions on the island, only small companies with very controlled and very low operating expenses have been able to offer their activities to the few tourists who visited the island. This is the case mainly of ‘jeep’ excursions, boat trips, buggy tours, horseback riding or by camel or the realization of some aquatic activities such as parasailing or the rental of jet skis. All these activities, carried out in the open air and with strict Covid prevention measures, have been carried out even assuming losses by the organizing companies.
Although the hotels hope to save the summer thanks to national tourism and the Canarian resident, the situation is quite different for leisure companies. In accordance with Luis Manzano, «The offer of leisure activities depends on 90% of the tourist visiting the island, especially the German, British, national and Dutch in summer, and also the Scandinavian in winter. As the arrival of tourists from these countries evolves, we will be able to offer more excursions and more regularly.
“We believe that the situation will improve as of July,” says Luis Manzano. “Some of the factors that encourage us to be optimistic. The reduction of the contagion rate in Gran Canaria, with the relaxation of the limitations imposed by the Government of the Canary Islands in the realization of the tours that this entails, the reopening since the end of May of such important source markets as the German, Danish and Dutch, the increase in vaccination in the European population, the activation of the EU Covid Digital Certificate, the arrival of national tourism in its strong months July and August, and we hope that the next recovery of the british tourism They will be key for us, “says Manzano.
He adds that “if all these circumstances are fulfilled, it is possible that we will arrive at the estimate of the Government of the Canary Islands, as stated by its president in Fitur, of recovering the 70% of the 2019 tourist volume before the end of the year and with it, practically the entire offer of excursions that were offered before the appearance of the Covid ”, he points out.