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Arrivals Set To Soar By 20% as Egypt Fallout Continues

Tuesday February 8, 2011

Arrivals Set To Soar By 20% as Egypt Fallout Continues

As 300,000 extra tourist beds across the Canaries are made available to tourists displaced by the current crises in Egypt and Tunisia the island hoteliers association ASOLAN has predicted that the number of tourists taking their holidays in Lanzarote looks set to soar by 20% this winter as a result.

Following the meeting yesterday between government representatives and the major tourist associations in the Canary Islands an additional 300,000 beds will be made available between now and the end of April to cope with increased demand created by the Egyptian crisis.

This should allow holiday companies to fulfil their bookings for tourists from France, Italy, the UK and Holland who had hoped to travel to either Tunisia or Egypt during the winter season but are now unable to do so. All packages to these two North African destinations have now been suspended until at least the end of the winter period.

The Vice Councillor for Tourism in the Canarian Government, Ricardo Fernandez presided over the meeting on Monday 7th February and confirmed that in principal, the Canary Islands have the capacity to meet this extra demand. The main items under discussion during the meeting were developing a strategy to cope with the additional tourist arrivals.

At the same time, the president of the Federation of Hotel and Tourist Businesses in Las Palmas (FEHT), Fernando Fraile was keen to stress that whilst ensuring that the extra demand for holidays was met, it would not be at any price.

The Canary Islands offer a destination that is not only very secure but also of good quality and there was no room to offer accommodation at sales prices whilst the islands were helping to deal with a demand for holidays caused by the two countries in conflict.

The resulting upsurge in visitor numbers means that the Canarian archipelago will end its winter season with a total of 4.5 million tourists having travelled to one of the islands, half a million more than were anticipated at the recent travel fair FITUR in Madrid and a million more than recorded during the same season in 2009-2010.

The Association of Hoteliers in Lanzarote (ASOLAN) welcomed the news, stating that it would rapidly help to reduce the number of people registered as unemployed on the island, as more jobs became available in the tourist sector.

The main tour operators have already asked for an additional 65,000 seats on flights to Lanzarote between February and April. ASOLAN's spokesman, Francisco Martinez, indicated that the island was likely to see its tourist numbers rise by up to 20% over the course of the winter season in comparison with the same period last year.

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