During the illustrious World Travel Market (WTM) in London, the Canary Islands Tourism (Turismo de Canarias) seized the opportunity to bolster its already strong ties with the UK market, riding on the wave of a 15% upsurge in British tourists flocking to the archipelago up to September 2023. This strategic initiative is a testament to the regional government’s focused efforts on not just maintaining but significantly boosting the air connectivity with the UK, which is a testament to the islands’ growing appeal in the British market.
At the helm of these pivotal meetings was Jéssica de León, the Regional Minister for Tourism and Employment, who, along with the adept Canary Islands Tourism team led by José Juan Lorenzo, navigated through key discussions with industry stalwarts. They engaged with Stephen Paul Heapy of Jet2 and Sebastian Ebel from the TUI Group, among other notable leaders from easyJet and ABTA. These interactions illuminated the robust dedication that airlines and tour operators have towards making the Canary Islands an even more enticing destination for British travellers.
Jet2 currently leads the pack with a substantial 37% market share in UK-Canary Islands flights, demonstrating a clear vote of confidence in the islands’ tourism offerings. This is closely followed by other industry giants like Ryanair, easyJet, and TUI, with their market shares and flight seat offerings witnessing a significant increase. The commitment is further evidenced by a remarkable rise in the number of seats offered by airlines for the winter season, indicative of the Canary Islands’ growing prominence as a winter sun destination for the UK market.
De León also highlighted the strategic recovery from the Thomas Cook collapse in September 2019, noting how the swift and efficient response from other airlines ensured the absorption of the 300,000 airline seats for the winter schedule, thus safeguarding the continuous positive trajectory of British tourist arrivals.
CANARY ISLANDS: MORE RECOVERY AND SPENDING BY THE BRITISH MARKET
The Canary Islands’ tourism sector’s resilience and allure are mirrored in the latest figures, which show not only a recovery but a flourishing increase in visitors and spending from the UK, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. The first half of the year alone saw a notable uptick in tourism revenue, with the British contributing a more significant slice of the total tourism pie than before, confirming their preference for the Canary Islands’ climate, safety, accommodation offerings, and the simplicity of organising a trip due to the myriad of options available.
British tourists have a long-standing love affair with the Canary Islands, often opting for extended stays and demonstrating loyalty through repeated visits. Their average spending per trip stands at a substantial 1,340 euros, with the primary motive being relaxation, followed by family enjoyment, fun, and island exploration.
This engagement at the WTM serves as a cornerstone for the Canary Islands’ tourism strategy, affirming the islands’ status as a beloved year-round destination for British tourists and laying the groundwork for even stronger air travel links to accommodate the UK’s rising interest in the archipelago. With a high satisfaction rate and an overwhelming propensity to recommend and revisit, the Canary Islands are well-positioned to continue their legacy as a premier destination in the hearts of British travellers.