Cautiously, but international markets evolve positively
The Cumbre Vieja volcano JUAN MEDINAREUTERS
Updated on Tuesday, 5 October 2021 – 01:37
The eruption of the volcano on the island of La Palma has not had a deterrent effect on tourists when planning their trips to the archipelago, which is just beginning its high season. According to data analyzed by the tourism intelligence company ForwardKeys, there are increases in ticket reservations to travel both in the month of October and in this last quarter, until December.
The company has first analyzed the reservations made in the week of September 19 to 25, after the eruption, to travel to the islands at any future date. Their data exclude trips between the islands themselves and also low cost airline bookings. At a general level (counting international tourist and Spanish tourist reservations), there is a growth of 1.8% compared to the tickets that were confirmed for future trips in the same week of 2019, before the health crisis broke out.
At this point it must be taken into account that consumer habits have changed and trips are no longer planned in advance, but are booked at the last minute, so this increase “reflects part of that frustrated demand that was eager to travel and which is now being released,” explains Juan Gmez, an expert at ForwardKeys.
From Germany, 27% more tickets have been booked to travel to the Canary Islands in the future than in the same week in 2019. From Denmark the growth is 67%, 53% in Sweden or 43% in Norway. Our traditional source markets, such as France or Germany, increase reserves by 33% and 27%, respectively. The United Kingdom, the main country of origin before the pandemic, experienced an increase of 16%.
The eruption of the volcano “It does not seem to affect the issue of ticket sales from international markets to the Canary Islands as it was initially.“, points out Juan Gmez, ForwardKeys Insights expert. The frustrated demand is still very high and countries” continue to have an interest in traveling to Spain and in particular to the Canary Islands. “Remember that, however, they are reservations that can be cancel at any time
Tour operators, waiting
Before the volcano erupted, La Palma had an average occupancy of around 70% and with good forecasts for the winter, according to data from Ashotel, the Canary Islands hotel association. “Obviously, this emergency situation has paralyzed the reserves of the main tour operators, who are keeping an eye on the situation and making decisions every week,” they explain.
The reservations issued during that week (September 19-25) to travel to Santa Cruz de La Palma from the mainland grew by 30% compared to the same week in 2019. Journalists, cameras, photographers, scientists, technicians, volcanologists and personnel involved in the emergency device feed this demand, since most “are last minute trips.”
The volume of confirmed reservations to travel to the Canary Islands in the remainder of the year, From October to december, excluding trips between islands, it is only 10% below the same time in 2019. “It is a very positive data considering that the norm now is to book last minute trips, with which these figures can improve considerably as the quarter progresses.”
To travel this quarter there are 9% fewer tickets confirmed for the Canary Islands from abroad than at the same time in 2019. By country, Germany grew 33%, the United Kingdom 27% and Sweden 79%. From Spain, for the entire period, the reserves fell 19%, although October they only lost 7%. From Spain to Santa Cruz de la Palma to travel in October rose 45%, while tickets for international arrivals fell just 0.2%.
The scenario caused in the short term by the eruption on La Palma “throws uncertainty to the main source markets, attentive to the airspace situation. However, already for November, in the rest of the islands of the province, especially in Tenerife, the forecasts are good “, they say from Ashotel.
“We are entering our peak season par excellence, we are well advanced in overcoming the pandemic and our main source markets are open and reducing restrictions on mobility. The key at this time, without taking our eyes off the situation on La Palma, it resides in continuing to work to accelerate the pace of recovery, “explains Ashotel’s president, Jorge Marichal.
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