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Monday, 25 January 2010 00:00

Tourist thermometer in 2009

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Thomas Cook, the British tour operator that brings about four million tourists to Spain each year, warned that 2010 will be "another hard year" for tourism in the Spanish market. Thomas Cook, one of the most important tour operators in the world, is very familiar with the outstanding attributes Spain offers to tourists, but in these times of recession, consumers are looking first and foremost at price.

Executives at Thomas Cook consider the consumer goods and services in Spain to be "very expensive". This famous tour operator says that tourism has increased in Turkey by 23% and in Egypt by 32%. The reason is that these markets offered more competitive prices and holiday packages with a better value for the money.

Thomas Cook considers that the "all inclusive" system will continue to be the most preferred format for UK tourists and that consumers will maintain their habit of last-minute bookings and will continue to compare prices a lot.

Travel search site Skyscanner, one of the most important in the world, has ranked the most-searched tourist destinations during the first days of this year. According to Skyscanner representatives, three Spanish cities make up the top three spots : Malaga (Costa del Sol), Tenerife and Alicante, which confirms that Spain is, once again, the most preferred country for British tourists. Lanzarote comes in ninth position for the UK.

In 2009, tourism decreased by 8.7% at the national level, according to the surveys completed by the Institute for Tourism. Regarding the tourism industry, in 2009 there was a "drastic reduction of its margins and profits".

Business representatives of the Canaries think that 2010 could see an incipient tourism recovery, basing their opinion on the assumption that the economic recovery in Germany and the United Kingdom, countries where most of the tourists arriving to the islands come from, will allow the Canaries to improve, but that Spain still remains "outside the recovery process".

The Canaries received 7,982,256 tourists in 2009, losing 1,234,329 tourists from 2008, which, in percentage points, is a 13.39% decline from the previous year.

Visitors to Lanzarote in 2009 were 52% British, 18% German, 13% Irish, 3% Dutch, 2% Norwegian, 2% Swedish, etc.

According to the Canarian Government’s data, the island of Lanzarote received 1,367,483 tourists in 2009. Lanzarote lost 219,754 tourists since 2008. In global terms, Lanzarote lost around 14% of tourists.

Most of the tourists coming to Lanzarote are still from Britain. In 2009, 708,353 tourists came from the UK. Regarding 2008, the number of tourists from the UK decreased by 114,778, which indicates a loss of 14% from 2008.

Germans are in the second position in Lanzarote's visitors. In 2009, 251,619 German tourists visited Lanzarote. Compared to 2008, this is a 9.5% loss.

The third largest tourist market in Lanzarote is from Ireland, with 177,376 visitors, which is 32,712 tourists less than in 2008. This means a loss of 15.6%.

The three above mentioned markets are followed by Holland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Sweden and other countries. All those markets reduced their tourism to Lanzarote, too.

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