A Perspective on Tenerife Tourism
February 19, 2009 Leave a comment
Some would say that Tenerife tourism is still booming and that may be so in some niche sectors. However if you speak to business owners on the south coast most will tell you that businesses are suffering due to reduced numbers of tourists. This may partly be due to the vacuum created by all inclusive deals but that is not the only problem faced by local businesses.
The cost of flights to Tenerife has become expensive. Although world oil prices have not helped, many tourists will tell you that the availability of low cost flights has lessened and flight deals have become very limited. One major charter airline recently advertised a massive internet sale with cheap seats to Tenerife but they were all sold out within hours because there were so few bargain seats available. World oil prices did not help airline operators last year and dwindling tourist numbers have made it difficult for airlines to sustain profit on some routes, several Tenerife flight operators have folded during recent months, evidence that times are hard for airlines. Tenerife is not a short haul destination which has not helped the airlines deliver profitably.
The crash of the Pound against the Euro has been a blight for Tenerife tourism. UK tourists have in the past contributed to one third of the market but it is very unlikely that this is the case now. There are still a large number of British stalwarts visiting the Island, many have invested in a Tenerife property and are still drawn to the Island for the abundance that it has to offer. Tenerife is unquestionably a highly desirable top tourist destination.
The Government has creditably invested heavily adding spruce to the tourist resorts and this is largely evident, for example the new harbour esplanade in Los Cristianos, new beaches and endless tropical planting. Private investment has also created some outstanding new five star resorts like Bahia el Duque, Abama and Palacio de Isora.
Walking around the tourist resorts one can see evidence that tourism is ailing at the moment. Whilst the sunshine still draws tourists to the Island most are not spending like they used too. The tourists are more likely to be sitting on the new esplanade eating their sandwiches rather than frequenting the abundant numbers of restaurants which are normally thriving. Many shop and bar owners are struggling to pay their rent and some are taking flight after presenting the keys to the landlord. Some blame all inclusive deals others blame the relatively high cost of flights.
There is much speculation about where Tenerife Tourism is heading. There has been a shift towards up market tourism there has been a moratorium on hotel construction since 2003 unless it will offer 5 star accommodation with enhanced facilities, that will remain in force until 2010. It could be argued that such exclusive policies may actually be having a negative effect on tourism as a whole but on the other hand there is plenty of empty budget accommodation which is not fully utilised.
Tourist attractions on the Island of Tenerife are far from sparse with, numerous zoolological parks, aqua parks and other themed facilities; the Tenerife Tourist Board is keen to promote the island as a quality theme park destination.
The Government is also planning major upgrading projects for some of the older hotels, particularly in some of the earliest resorts such as Puerto de la Cruz. A new Tenerife north south train link is also planned for the Island. These are long term plans and the impact will not be experienced for many years to come.
The island scenery is breathtaking, the climate is fantastic all year round and many tourists may not be enticed to other destinations because of their passion for Tenerife.
It would be easy to believe Tenerife will continue to flourish in terms of tourism and most residents are depending on it to support their livelihood. Many are hanging on hoping for respite with an upturn in the world economy.
However it must be remembered that other tourist destinations are also fighting hard for their share of tourism which also contributes heavily to their own economies. Without trying to be controversial one could question whether the success of Tenerife as a sustainable tourist destination can continue when it is affected by so many external factors, as we have already seen. Only time will tell but the fight is on in all corners
In the long term the residents can only hope that this beautiful Island will be a jewel in the crown of tourism as the world economy thrives once again. One thing is almost certain though, the sun always shines in Tenerife and the Island has everything going for it. Tenerife Estate Agents are still upbeat about the future. properties are still being purchased despite the recession.