The Canary Islands is the leader in tourism experiences and aspires to increase its Internet presence

Canary Islands Tourism aims to promote spending at the destination rather than merely attracting a larger volume of tourists.

The Canary Islands Tourism department is taking steps to heighten the destination’s profitability by showcasing its plethora of experiences online through over 2,500 operators, in line with their digitalisation plan for the industry.

This initiative was under discussion at the ‘Innovation Meeting: Challenges and opportunities in online tourism marketing’ held today, Wednesday. The event was arranged by Canary Islands Tourism, a public company and part of the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Trade of the Canary Islands government.

The Tenerife Auditorium played host to the meeting, which saw a participation of over 300 people, with 180 physically present and 172 joining virtually. High-profile attendees included Toni Bennasar from GetYourGuide, Enrique Espinel from Civitatis, Valieriy Slysarenko from Turitop, Andrea Millán from FareHarbor, and Carmen Batista from Musement.

José Juan Lorenzo, the Managing Director of Canary Islands Tourism, inaugurated the event in the absence of Councillor Yaiza Castilla. In his address, Lorenzo pointed out that tourists nowadays crave experiences beyond mere travel. The broader and more compelling our offering, the stronger our tourism model, making it a strategic tool for shaping future tourism.

Canary Islands Tourism aims to promote spending at the destination rather than merely attracting a larger volume of tourists. The idea is to extend the value chain into other economic sectors, boosting wealth generation, employment, social welfare, and importantly, reducing carbon footprint.

The strategy encourages inclusion of sectors like sports, culture, and the primary sector in tourism. It also supports its territorial expansion, bringing areas not directly related to tourism into the fold and thereby extending the stay in a destination packed with activities. This in turn can help reduce the environmental impact of flights to the islands.

The regional ministry is pushing for more online visibility for the sector, focusing on marketing and innovation via the Canarias Destino strategy. Lorenzo revealed plans for a platform to streamline marketing of the archipelago’s tourism experiences through competitive booking engines and payment gateways. The aim is to function as a singular digital ecosystem using advanced technologies to highlight all the offerings.

To enhance the islands’ digital competitiveness, María Guardiet, Director of Tourism Intelligence Projects at Canary Islands Tourism, shared the ‘Experiences in the Canary Islands: Analysis of online positioning and competitiveness’ study. This report analysed the online positioning of 11 destinations including the Canary Islands on TripAdvisor. The study incorporated more than 19,000 operators and 3.2 million reviews, using 2022 data.

Guardiet indicated that travellers, especially millennials and generation Z, prioritize experiences when choosing a destination. Despite being leaders in service offerings and quality, the Canary Islands need to improve their digital presence. Recommendations from the study included identifying and prioritizing key experience categories, creating an experience database, and boosting digital readiness among operators. Updating trends, implementing good digital practices, and paying attention to pricing, online reviews, refund, and cancellation policies were other suggestions.

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