At the World Travel Market (WTM), the Canary Islands are spotlighting their enhanced air connections with the United Kingdom, celebrating a 15% surge in passenger traffic to the islands up to September compared to the previous year. The impressive figures show a leap from 3.6 million to 4.2 million seats within the same timeframe in 2022.
Jessica de León, the Regional Minister of Tourism and Employment for the Canary Islands, alongside the Canary Islands Tourism team headed by manager José Juan Lorenzo, engaged in strategic discussions with industry leaders such as Jet2 CEO Stephen Paul Heapy, TUI Group’s Sebastian Ebel, representatives from easyJet, and ABTA, the British travel agency association.
De León highlighted the burgeoning interest of airlines and tour operators in the Canary Islands, noting the growing passenger volume with airlines like Jet2, which now boasts a 37% market share for UK-Canary Islands flights, followed by Ryanair at 24%, easyJet at 18%, and TUI at 16%.
She underlined the loyalty of British tourists, with over 20% returning to the islands more than ten times, reflecting not only a strong repeat visitation rate but also robust airline confidence, evidenced by double-digit growth in winter schedule offerings.
Spain reigns as the preferred destination for British holidaymakers, and within Spain, the Canary Islands lead, with one in three tourists choosing the archipelago for decades and throughout all seasons, primarily favouring Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, and Fuerteventura.
In the realm of holiday bookings, a shift toward direct arrangements is apparent, with travellers opting for longer stays and higher spending, moving away from traditional package holidays.