The global tour operator group TUI, who are the biggest in the world, say they plan to bring tourists once again to the Canary Islands as of this coming weekend, on October 3, despite a German Government advisory still being in place to avoid travel to several countries, including Spain.
TUI’s director for Germany, Marek Andryszak, has indicated to several newspapers, when talking about the Canary Islands, that “travelers should be able to decide for themselves whether to take their holidays despite the risk of infection and having to quarantine upon return to Germany.”
“We are convinced that many clients will weigh it up very well” and will choose to start their holidays, despite the warnings, simply because of the possibility of being tested, Andryszak added.
TUI reduced all flights to the Canary Islands following the German Government decisions to classify all of Spain as a risk zone, adding all Spanish regions to a blacklist, advising against unnecessary travel to the country. Now they are striving to once more bring tourists to The Canary Islands in a safe and controlled way, hoping to establish sustainable protocols for a return to business with the islands.
The German Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, advised Germans last Friday not to travel outside the country to go on vacation during the autumn and winter to prevent from contributing to the increase in coronavirus cases in the country.
Lufthansa airline group and TUI want passengers to be required to undergo rapid COVID-19 testing, something the Canary Islands Regional Government has been demanding since March, before flying, so as to facilitate more intercontinental air connections and avoid quarantines.
The Canary Islands economy is heavily dependent on tourism, with more 35% of GDP and 40% of employment affecting the income of more than 60% of the total population. Despite the best efforts of The Canary Islands and Spanish governments the impact on day to day living has been huge. The Canary Islands saw a brief uptick in infections during August but appears to have brought a second wave of coronavirus under control once again with newly detected cases having dropped once more to less than 50 for every 100,000 inhabitants. Tourism businesses are eager to show that this is one of the safest destinations in the world and have been pressing for many months to have wide scale testing for travellers both at origin and in destination. TUI has played a key role in representing the industry to try to cautiously move towards safe travel corridors for holiday makers.