Keeping a beady eye on the internet’s goings-on seems to have paid off handsomely for tourist bosses on Tenerife.
Cheap holidays in the Canary Islands have remained popular throughout the global economic downturn, due to the undeniable appeal of the destination, but Tenerife has been affected like any other by the reduced holiday budgets of many UK and European citizens.
That is why it was good to hear this week that 2011 has seen a 12 per cent increase in the number of British visitors, especially in the areas of cheap package holidays and cruise holidays. Package holidays are up 27.8 per cent compared to last year and there have been 312,000 cruise visitors this year so far.
There was a three-year period of falling tourist numbers before things began to turn around in April last year, and by the third quarter of 2011, almost 1.5 million Britons have chosen a cheap holiday to Tenerife.
Of all the international tourist arrivals in Tenerife this year, UK citizens made up an impressive 31 per cent – when it came to Canary Islands holidays in general, Tenerife scooped up an incredible 45 per cent of all British arrivals.
Tenerife’s tourism minister Carlos Alonso revealed the encouraging figures at a breakfast briefing at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, going on to say that at present rates of growth, the number of UK visitors coming to Tenerife will soon be back to 2005 levels.
The minister went on to say that there has been a slight increase in the age of tourists visiting Tenerife – the average age now stands at 49, thanks to an influx of younger couples, who make up 57 per cent of holidaymakers.
Mr Alonso said that Tenerife’s tourism authority has a strong policy on social media, keenly monitoring internet activity to spot surges of interest in the island and responding wherever possible. This is an excellent strategy, especially when figures show that 67 per cent of flights to Tenerife have been booked online.