It has become a reality. The Canary Islands are back as a star tourist destination. If before the pandemic the Islands were beating all visitor records (no less than 15.9 million in 2019), now they are back on the tourist scene with even more strength. Neither high inflation, which has increased hotel prices by 24%, nor the rise in fuel prices, which has also increased ticket prices, nor the war in Ukraine, have slowed down tourists, who, despite everything, are still keen to travel. This has meant that the Canary Islands not only have the same or even higher figures for these days than in 2019, but also that it has been chosen as the favourite destination in Europe.
With the data in hand, most of the islands have exceeded 90% hotel occupancy, highlighting islands such as La Palma and La Gomera, which are expected to be 95% full. This is not only for hotels, rural tourism establishments and holiday rentals are also close to full.
Air traffic forecasts for Canary Island airports this Easter point to a recovery of the pre-pandemic traffic. Aena forecasts a total of 12,977 operations for this year, compared to the 12,344 recorded in the same festive period in 2019. These Easter holidays, the Canary Islands airports has operated 5,900 flights, which represents an increase of 6.49% compared to 2019, the pre-pandemic year in which there were 5,540 operations.
As for the hotel and extra-hotel establishments in the Canary Islands, an average occupancy rate of 80% is expected for Easter Week on the islands of the province of Las Palmas, except for Fuerteventura, where at least 90% is expected, while on the islands of Santa Cruz de Tenerife it will be over 80%. An almost full house which takes us back to pre-pandemic times.
The president of Ashotel, Jorge Marichal, said this week: “We hope that 2023 will be the year of consolidation of the sector”. However, the hoteliers do not want to throw caution to the wind and say that it is still not possible to speak of a “complete” tourism recovery, taking into account that there are some markets that are “practically closed or with little movement”.
The British are still our star and most loyal market. And despite the fact that prices have risen in the hotel and catering sector, the Canary Islands continue to be one of the most inexpensive holiday destinations. The president of the hotels association put the rise in food and drink at 16%, to which must be added energy costs, which have fallen in some months, but have tripled in others. It should also be taken into account that the effects of the labour reform and the successive collective bargaining agreements that have been improved also affect the economy of scale of costs in the hotel business.
According to Simon-Kucher, a strategy and marketing consultancy, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands are the cheapest destinations to travel to this Easter, with prices below 100 euros per night. All this at a time when hotel prices in the main Spanish tourist destinations stand at an average of 183 euros per night, prices 40% more expensive than last year. Cities with a deep-rooted tradition in these days, such as Seville and Malaga, lead the ranking of rates at Easter, surpassing the 300 euro barrier, with occupancies close to 90% on these dates.
Tourism continues, therefore, on the path of an unstoppable recovery that businessmen hope will extend into the summer and thus close the year with record figures.
PASSENGERS CAN CLAIM THEIR MONEY BACK IN FULL
A flood of trips can lead to some cancellations, so passengers should be aware of their rights to know what to do if they suffer any of the problems they may have on their journey: delays, cancellations or loss of luggage, among other inconveniences. When a flight is cancelled or a passenger is denied boarding, airlines must offer an alternative flight. In the case of domestic travel, the airline may offer a train ticket. In either case, the passenger may decide to refuse the alternative and ask for a full refund of the ticket.