Some British newspapers recently picked up on an interview with the newly elected President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo from La Laguna, in which he was quoted as suggesting the number of tourists visiting the Canary Islands could be limited and that the rising number of all inclusive packages should be controlled.
There was also a warning that if the Canary Islands continued to pursue mass market tourism they would suffer from the ‘Magaluf Effect’.
Before anyone starts worrying there could be a danger of being told ‘sorry amigo, we’ve reached our limit of holidaymakers for this month on Tenerife’, the British press reports are all a bit of a non story.
Apart from that, there was a bit of poetic licence regarding what Fernando Clavijo actually said in an interview with El Pais newspaper, the original source. In reply to a question about the approach to tourism he’d like to see in the Canary Islands, he commented that it wouldn’t good for the Canary Islands if the islands had 20 million visitors who all stayed AI. That’s common sense. It was an extreme example designed to illustrate that he wanted a considered approach to tourism in the Canary Islands.
Following the initial press reports he clarified his position on AI accommodation, saying what everyone in the tourism industry knows. If you stop offering all inclusive hotels, people who prefer to stay AI will simply go to a destination which does.
According to government statistics AI accounts for around 27.5% of accommodation booked on Tenerife (in Fuerteventura it’s 47.4%).
Turning official figures on their head, nearly 75% of visitors to the Canary Islands don’t stay AI. That amounted to around 9,750,000 people in 2013. Most destinations would salivate at the idea of those sort of numbers wandering their streets.
As for pursuing the mass tourism market, for at least the last decade there has been a growth of more upmarket hotels on Tenerife. The choice of high quality accommodation in places like Costa Adeje and Playa de las Américas is dizzying. Even some mid range hotels have ‘upped’ their game by carrying out renovations to try to keep in line.
The trend of the last decade in Tenerife’s southern resorts has been one of a continuing move away from low quality, rather naff looking establishments selling booze and food at low prices to one that is more in line with ever-changing tourists who expect something more. The prices are still competitive but many bars and restaurants in the resorts look a lot better now than they did ten years ago. Whereas it was once all cheap swimwear and fake footie tops in gloomy little shops, there are now more sleek shopping centres with chic fashion outlets.
Playa de las Américas still gets a bum rap as being the place that gives Tenerife a bad name but the area around the Safari Centre is as sexy and stylish as any in the southern resort areas and buzzes with smartly dressed visitors.
Next year Tenerife will hold its second Walking Festival, an event aimed at attracting a different type of tourist.
Outside of the resorts, traditional life on Tenerife goes on much as it always has done in many places.
Another reason Tenerife won’t suffer from the ‘Magaluf effect’ is because parts of some resorts have already been through that phase years ago, learned from it and have grown up and moved on.
Category : about tenerife
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