With nearly a million visitors making their way to one of the Canary Islands in July, it is no surprise to find that figures for 2014 are already exceeding those of the last few years. Suggesting that the new routes to the archipelago opened up by budget airlines such as Ryanair are delivering new holiday makers to the islands as well as bringing repeat visitors.
Lanzarote alone saw nearly 200,000 people arriving last month (193, 677 passengers in total), which represents an increase of 17.9% compared with July 2013. And so far this year, the most easterly island has had 1,204,957 visitors, which represents an increase of 18.3% during the first seven months of this year.
While traditional markets are still sending high volumes of tourists, with for instance, the British coming in record numbers, it is Ryanair’s efforts to offer the island as a new holiday destination to French tourists, along with existing routes to Italy, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and Spain that is helping to boost the island’s popularity.
As a result, the main tourist resorts of Puerto del Carmen (87%), Playa Blanca (90%) and Costa Teguise (92%) have seen very high levels of occupation in both hotels and apartment complexes. Surprisingly, holiday accommodation in rural areas such as Tinajo and in the capital of Arrecife also reached nearly full (90% and 87% respectively).
In addition, the main tourist attractions have also fared well, with the number of tourists deciding to visit one of the main Manrique installations rising by nearly 200,000 in the first seven months of this year when compared with the statistics for last year. As usual, it is the Montañas del Fuego or Timanfaya National Park which attracts the highest numbers, with nearly half a million tourists having explored the volcanic region so far this year.
Numbers are also up for most of the other islands, with Fuerteventura seeing an increase of 16.5% in its holiday visitors during July, while Gran Canaria saw a more modest rise of 2.53% and Tenerife 8.98%, although statistically both of the latter larger islands receive higher volumes of visitors anyway, with 218,259 to Gran Canaria and 334,335 going to Tenerife.
Although the archipelago normally has a fairly constant year round influx of tourists, it is interesting to note that there is still a consistent jump each year when the traditional summer holiday period begins. And it is probable that figures for September will reflect the end of school holidays, with a likely lessening of visitor numbers in comparison with August and July.