Lanzarote needs to reduce its reliance on low-spending British visitors and move towards a “higher quality” tourism market model, the island’s president said.
María Dolores Corujo called German holidaymakers the ideal visitor to attract, allowing the Canary Islands package holiday hotspot to diversify its tourism sector.
“It is essential to work on the diversification of the sector and the growth of markets such as the German market, which adapt to our intentions to focus on higher quality tourism and holidaymakers who spend more when they are here and keep us away of mass tourism,” Ms. Corujo said this week at the ITB Berlin travel fair in Berlin.
While British tourists have traditionally been drawn to the offer of year-round sunshine and cheap beach holidays in Spain’s Atlantic outpost, Ms Corujo said the island’s tourism strategy needed to pivot towards ‘sustainability and excellence’.
It comes a month after she said Lanzarote needed to “reduce our dependence on the UK market”.
Speaking at a tourist fair in Madrid in February, she said Lanzarote needed to attract more big money lenders from the French, Italian and Dutch markets, as well as tourists from mainland Spain.
The change of strategy has been linked to the problematic behavior of some British visitors to the Canary Islands, with several Britons arrested in Lanzarote and Tenerife in recent months for using counterfeit money to pay for accommodation, as well as drug offenses and drunkenness.
The Lanzarote government argues that the island has reached saturation point, with 2.5 million visitors by 2022, stating that the only way to grow the industry is to attract tourists who spend more money.
But some industry figures aren’t happy.
Daniel Trigg of the Lanzarote Business and Residents Association said he is concerned about the idea of backlash against traditional holidaymakers and the impression that “Lanzarote doesn’t want British and Irish tourists”.
José María Mañaricúa, president of the FEHT Canary Islands Hoteliers Association, said Lanzarote’s government needs to strengthen infrastructure if it wants to attract tourists who will spend more by differentiating the island from other parts of Spain such as the Balearic Islands and the Balearic Islands. Andalusia”.