The Canary Islands spearheaded Spain’s tourism revival in 2022

The GDP associated with the sector accounted for 35.5% of the Canary Islands' economy, reaching 16,961 million euros.

In 2022, the Canary Islands led the recovery of tourism in Spain, with the gross domestic product (GDP) of the region linked to this sector reaching 35.5% of the economy, amounting to 16,961 million euros. This achievement surpassed pre-pandemic levels and marked a historic high. These findings are based on the Impactur 2022 study, which assesses the economic impact of tourism in the Canary Islands and was jointly conducted by the regional government and the Alliance for Excellence in Tourism (Exceltur).

During a presentation in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the regional vice-president, Manuel Domínguez; the councillor for Tourism and Employment, Jessica de León; and the executive vice-president of Exceltur, José Luis Zoreda, highlighted the study’s results. It revealed “outstanding performance in tourism activity” and emphasized the sector’s significant role in the Canary Islands. The region’s tourism recovery in 2022 outpaced the Spanish average, with a growth rate of 9.3% compared to the national average of 2.2%. Domínguez underscored the resilience and strength demonstrated by the Canary Islands in achieving this feat.

Despite the impressive tourism performance, it occurred within a challenging economic landscape characterized by increased operating costs in 2022. Rising costs included a 28.9% increase in energy, 27.7% growth in fuel expenses, a 17.1% rise in supplies, and a 19.8% increase in wages. These cost increases were indicative of the determination of businesses and institutions to consolidate the recovery of tourism activity, especially in light of the geopolitical situation with the Ukraine conflict and the economic context of slowdown and inflation.

The Canary Islands spearheaded Spain's tourism revival in 2022

High connectivity, key in tourism recovery in the Canary Islands

De León attributed the tourism recovery to several factors, including savings accumulated by families during the pandemic, a strong desire to travel, the international appeal of the destination, and effective efforts by Promotur Turismo de las Islas Canarias. Additionally, the interest of international and national tour operators in the Canary Islands, high connectivity, and the loyalty of the Spanish market contributed to the recovery. Notably, the recovery of international demand in 2022 was driven not only by increased visitor numbers (which reached pre-pandemic levels) but also by a higher average daily expenditure, which reached 98.7 euros compared to 84.2 euros in 2019.

Zoreda highlighted the remarkable resilience of tourism in the Canary Islands, emphasizing the key role played by businesses in the recovery. Despite the accumulated debt during the health crisis and challenges posed by increased costs, significant investments were made in product repositioning and job creation.

Tourism accounted for 39.7% of employment in the Canary Islands, equivalent to 344,358 jobs, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. For every 100 euros generated directly by tourism, 44.9 euros contributed to other sectors of the economy. Additionally, for every 100 jobs directly associated with tourism, 38 jobs were generated indirectly in other sectors. Taxes from tourism generated 3,441 million euros during the analyzed period, representing a 17.5% increase.

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