Tourism hits record highs in the Canary Islands despite growing backlash

Similar to December and January, this past March set a new tourism record in the Canary Islands for both the number of foreign visitors and the amount they spent during their 31-day holidays.

Amid the ongoing debate about the impacts of overcrowding on the daily lives of residents and the environment in the Canary Islands, the tourism sector is witnessing its most prosperous period yet, with record-breaking numbers for both tourist arrivals and revenue, where records are being outdone almost monthly.

The National Statistics Institute (INE) disclosed last Monday that the influx of foreign tourists to the Canary Islands in March increased by 18.9% compared to the previous year, totaling 1,543,234 visitors. This figure represents nearly 247,000 more tourists than in March 2023, a month that did not include the Easter holidays as they occurred in April that year.

These 1.54 million tourists generated a revenue of 2,335 million euros in just one month, marking a 20.9% increase from March 2023, with an average spending of 1,507 euros per tourist.

Tourism hits record highs in the Canary Islands despite growing backlash

Record tourism numbers in a month for Canary Islands

Historically, the Canary Islands have never seen such high numbers of foreign tourists or such significant spending within a single month, continuing a trend observed since the end of the previous year. December saw 1,374,111 international visitors, surpassing the pre-pandemic record of March 2018, which stood at 1,347,702.

While the number dipped in January to 1,321,100 visitors, it rebounded in February reaching a new peak of 1,407,956, a record that was soon surpassed in March by an additional 136,000 tourists.

Revenue figures followed a similar trend, with December generating 2,095.73 million euros, January 2,006.79 million euros, February 2,177.07 million euros, and March reaching a peak of 2,325.39 million euros—marking the sector’s highest achievement to date.

Tourist spending is influenced by various factors including the number of visitors, the duration of their stay, and pricing trends. During their peak season from November to Easter, when competition in Europe is minimal, the Canary Islands have welcomed more tourists than ever. However, it is evident that the average length of stay is decreasing, with a 4.4% drop observed in March.

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