Canary Islands record 13% more visitors and 20% higher spending in 2023 vs pre-pandemic

In 2023, the Canary Islands saw a 13.1% rise in foreign tourists, totaling 13,942,966, exceeding 2019's numbers by 6.1%. Tourist spending surged by 16% yearly and 20.6% compared to pre-pandemic levels

In 2023, the Canary Islands welcomed a total of 13,942,966 foreign tourists, marking a 13.1% increase from 2022 and surpassing 2019’s pre-pandemic figures by 6.1%. Moreover, the islands saw a significant rise in tourist spending, with a 16% annual increase and a 20.6% increase compared to 2019, according to the Sectoral Report on Tourism in the Canary Islands by the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber’s President, Santiago Sesé, emphasized the need for ongoing improvements in tourist destination quality to keep the Canary Islands competitive. He advocated for adherence to the Canary Islands Tourism Infrastructure Plan and enhanced inter-island and international connectivity.

Sesé highlighted the region’s tourism recovery, noting that the Canary Islands, heavily impacted by the pandemic, have now reached historic highs in foreign tourist arrivals since 2017. He also pointed out the enduring popularity of the Canary Islands among loyal markets, particularly British tourists.

Canary Islands record 13% more visitors and 20% higher spending in 2023 vs pre-pandemic

Employment in the tourism sector, encompassing hospitality and catering, showed a 6.1% increase in the fourth quarter compared to the previous year, with 164,514 registered members. Additionally, unemployment in the sector decreased by 8.8% from the previous year.

However, Sesé noted the challenge of finding qualified personnel as a significant limitation to providing quality service. He stressed the importance of public-private collaboration to overcome these challenges and enhance the tourism sector’s quality and profitability.

The report also indicated a preference for low-cost airlines among tourists, with a 13% increase in passengers in the fourth quarter. While hotel establishments remained the primary accommodation choice, there was a notable increase in foreign tourist stays, contrasting with a decrease among domestic tourists.

Furthermore, there was a 1.5% increase in the average length of stay and a 5.8% increase in the number of overnight stays, with occupancy rates reaching 70.9% in December. This increase in stays and occupancy rates contributes positively to the economy by boosting overall spending.

Canary Islands record 13% more visitors and 20% higher spending in 2023 vs pre-pandemic


The fourth quarter saw an 18.2% increase in total tourist expenditure, with the average daily expenditure per tourist rising by 3.8%, reaching 169 euros per day in December. The overall spending for the year in the Canary Islands exceeded both 2022 and 2019 levels.

Business confidence in the Transport and Hospitality sector grew by 2% in January, with 56% of establishments reporting improved activity in the last quarter of 2023. Looking ahead to the start of 2024, 45% of businesses anticipate stability, while 42% expect growth, highlighting a positive outlook for the Canary Islands’ tourism sector.

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