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Zoot Alors! Here Come The French

Crack open the baguettes and slice up the saucisson. For Lanzarote is currently being subjected to a French invasion, according to the latest tourist figures just released by Lanzarote’s Centro de Datos. Whilst foreign tourism in general continues to boom.

According to these latest stats just over 40,000 French tourists have visited Lanzarote during the first six months of this year, so establishing our cross-channel cousins as the island’s fourth largest market, behind the UK, Germany and Eire. And foreign tourism on Lanzarote in general continues to really take off too, as visitor numbers are up by nearly 19% versus the first six months of 2013. With the British market booming – now well on course to record over one million tourist visits during 2014 for the first time ever.

As ever, we have our friends at Ryanair to thank for this current influx from France – in much the same way as they are already the driving force behind growth in most of the island’s main tourist markets, from the UK to Italy.

The low cost airline has recently started operating out of Paris Beauvais (which has about as much to do with the French capital as Stansted has to do with London). The airport is in fact based in Picardy, which is around an hour and twenty minutes from Paris by coach transfer, and has a stuck out in the sticks feel too it.

On the upside however the prices are simply magnifique, with one way tickets from Lanzarote to Paris Beauvais starting from as little as 35 euros. And recent eye witness accounts confirm that these flights are as tightly packed with a wide range of affluent looking age groups as a goose on foie-gras, even on key French national holidays as Bastille Day. Which also helps to refute the oft held assumption that the French really only like to take holidays at home or on French speaking soil.

Rumours that local entrepreneurs are already running up sets of I Love Lanzarote berets and t-shirts may well be somewhat exaggerated. But it’s certainly reasonable to expect that local businesses will soon have to start catering more to the French, much as they already do for the Brits and Germans, with local restaurant menus in French becoming the norm. Whilst other services such as estate agents and excursion operators may well need to adapt by offering French language versions of their websites – as the French can of course be notoriously picky when it comes to all matters linguistic.