During the opening ceremony of the Canary Islands pavilion at the World Travel Market (WTM) held in London until the 9th, significant moments unfolded:
The 44th edition of the World Travel Market (WTM), one of the world’s foremost tourism fairs, commenced in London and will run until tomorrow at the Excel London conference and exhibition centre. It features approximately 4,000 exhibitors, new exhibition areas, and a strong Spanish presence. Remarkably, the Canary Islands participate as the sole region experiencing an increase in British tourists compared to 2019. In fact, it will be the destination of choice for 50% of all British tourists visiting Spain for a winter getaway and will contribute to 60% of the total revenue generated.
The President of the Regional Government, Fernando Clavijo, inaugurated the Canary Islands’ pavilion at the World Tourism Fair. During the ceremony, he announced his upcoming trip to Brussels on November 15th and 16th to advocate for the exemption of international flights from the outermost regions (OR) from the European tax on CO2 emissions, at least for the period 2024-2027. Clavijo was joined at the opening by the acting Minister of Tourism, Héctor Gómez from Tenerife; the Secretary of State for Tourism, Rosana Morillo; the regional minister for the sector, Jessica de León, and representatives from the regional councils.
Clavijo expressed concerns about the potential negative impact of the European Emissions Trading Scheme, effective from January 1st, on air connectivity and flight bookings between the Canary Islands and the rest of the European Economic Area, including the United Kingdom, in the short and medium term. Nevertheless, he emphasized the unstoppable leadership of the Canary Islands in attracting British tourists and their significant lead over other autonomous communities.
Jessica de León highlighted the recovery of the British tourist market, which is at 110% compared to the pre-pandemic period and represents 35% of the total number of tourists received by the Canary Islands. The year is expected to close with 16 million tourists, including 5.8 million British visitors, contributing to a turnover of 19,000 million euros, with 7,000 million euros from British visitors alone.
The Canary Islands’ delegation occupies 770 square meters, with graphic displays covering almost 700 square meters. Sustainability and a reduced carbon footprint continue to be prominent features, with a 9.44% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to 2022, totaling 242.5 tonnes. Air capacity to Tenerife is projected to increase by 2.3% in the period from April to September 2024, providing 1,155,467 arrival seats.
Early discussions with airlines, tour operators, and travel agency networks suggest a favorable trend for the year, solidifying the Canary Islands as a top destination in the British market. There is a 2.3% increase in seats from April to September compared to the same period in 2022, totaling 1,155,467 incoming seats.
The President of the Cabildo, Rosa Dávila, emphasized Tenerife’s privileged position in the UK market and highlighted the diverse experiences the island offers to British travelers, including climate, nature, sports, culture, and gastronomy.
Vice President and Councillor for Tourism, Lope Afonso, stressed the importance of Tenerife’s presence at WTM, given the island’s prominence in the British market as the main source of holidaymakers and the destination receiving the most British tourists in the Canary Islands, accounting for 40% of all visitors.
Councillor Roberto Medina represented the Puerto de la Cruz Town Council, showcasing the city’s attractive offerings and investments in requalifying its hotel infrastructure.
The President of the Cabildo de La Gomera, Casimiro Curbelo, highlighted the significance of the island’s presence at one of the sector’s most relevant and populous events, particularly considering the United Kingdom’s status as the second-largest country of origin for tourists. Curbelo also emphasized the commitment to sustainability, as exemplified by the guide of good practices for visitors implemented during the summer.