The Canary Islands archipelago may have exceeded 16 million tourists during 2017 producing a turnover of around €18 billion, according to one government minister’s estimates based on a preliminary assessment.

Canarian Regional Government Minister for tourism, culture and sport, Isaac Castellano, referred to preliminary figures during a presentation for the web platform which is aimed at modern “gourmet tourists”, pleasure seekers, those visitors who travel alone or as a couple and who particularly value exclusivity.

Highlighting prime indicators he suggested the archipelago will likely close 2017 with a record number of visitors, expected to be around 16 million people in total (as by the end of November, 14.6 million tourists had already been confirmed), meaning a significant increase on the same period of 2016, one year earlier.

“We always say that the most important thing is not the numbers of arrivals, but the social benefits they bring. Principally employment and, according to the EPA Work Force survey, by the third quarter of 2017 there were more than 253,000 jobs being linked to the sector, 47.8% more than in the same quarter of 2009, which means more than 82,000 new jobs” said Castellano. 

In his opinion, these figures serve to show the importance of the sector for the economic problems that the Canary Islands “unfortunately” still suffer.

“Data related to tourist billing also improved and, if the trends are met, 2017 will be able to close at spending of around €18 billion, 9% more than in the previous year, when it reached €16.5 billion”, the counselor emphasised.

Castellano has said that the archipelago must work “to consolidate the numbers of tourist arrivals, the diversification of markets to deal with the different risks that may occur and a firm commitment to the Canary Islands brand, which is a true reference in the markets where there are potential visitors”.

He reports that during 2017 the Ministry for Tourism carried out 250 promotional actions in 15 languages, and ​​in 19 countries aimed at very different segments, and claims that sun and beach tourists remain predominant, accounting for about 9 out of every 10 visitors.

Castellano has also recently highlighted that 76% of tourists who visited over the past year have already enjoyed one or more previous holiday experiences in the Canary Islands.