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Foreign Tourism Tumbles By 14.42% in April

Friday May 18, 2012

Foreign Tourism Tumbles By 14.42% in April

Lanzarote experienced one of the largest monthly falls in foreign tourist arrivals in over two years last month, as the number of tourists taking a holiday on the island in April dropped by 14.42%. A negative trend that has been replicated across most of the other Canary Islands, where foreign passenger traffic dropped as a whole by nearly 16% - with only Fuerteventura recording positive growth in April.

Tourist arrivals on Lanzarote fell from 159,536 arrivals in April 2011 to 136,523 last month – a shortfall of just over 23,000 passengers. Germany, Lanzarote’s second largest market, experienced the largest drop in tourist volume, with 4632 fewer passengers touching down at Arrecife airport last month. Followed by the UK (down by 4410), Norway (minus 3758) and Sweden (minus 3081). Whilst the Dutch market reported the only major positive figures, as arrivals from the Lowlands rose by just over 15%.

The downturn can partly be explained by the fact that Easter fell in late April last year – so helping to inflate figures for that month. Whilst the Canarian Minister of Tourism, Ricardo Fernandez de la Puente stated: “This drop in tourism was predictable given the behavior of the international economy and its impact on the tourism industry”.
Lanzarote – and the other islands - also benefitted last year from the fallout created by the Arab Spring, which resulted in many holidaymakers switching their bookings away from countries such as Egypt and Tunisia to the Canaries. A trend that now seems to have reversed.

Either way, falling tourist arrivals last month also impacted negatively on occupancy rates on the island, with Lanzarote hotels and apartment complexes reporting a near 10% drop in the number of beds filled during April to just 68.2% - the lowest monthly figure so far this year.

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