The Canary Islands Regional Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, through the public company Promotur Turismo de Islas Canarias, has launched a never-before-seen strategy to encourage domestic tourism, especially focused on the accommodation sector. “We carried out an unprecedented exercise of communication and sales promotion, which we combined with a program to generate economic activity around the regulated tourist establishments of the eight islands,” explained the Regional Minister responsible for the area, Yaiza Castilla, during the presentation last Wednesday, 9 June.
The Ministry led by Yaiza Castilla have launched an ambitious campaign consisting of a communication strategy aimed at directly Canarian tourists and a series of measures to boost activity around accommodation establishments, with an investment of €16 million.
With the domestic tourism promotion, up to 50,000 Canarian residents will benefit from tourist vouchers, which will each have a balance of €200 charged to the program to promote holidays within the Archipelago until the end of this year.
According to the data from Promotur, the Canarian tourism is a market that is reactivated faster than the rest. From January to April, 76% of the demand that existed in 2019 for those same months has been recovered. In the summer of 2020, the domestic market gained a significant share and was responsible for 36% of total demand, compared to 19% in the summer of 2019. Along with peninsular tourism, which also gained a share in the accommodation demand (with Spanish tourism’s share of the pie increasing from 15% of the summer of 2019 to 25% of the summer of 2020), “Canarian tourism helped to boost tourist accommodation in the face of the loss of most of the international,” Castilla recalled.
However, the counsellor clarified that for the summer of 2021 there are slightly more optimistic forecasts for international tourism based on the latest measures adopted, such as the free movement of vaccinated people or the acceptance of antigen tests, as well as attenuation to the contagion numbers and the rate of vaccination in Europe. In any case, Castilla was cautious: “We cannot lose sight of the fact that the majority of countries and regions in our environment are promoting holidays at home for their citizens, some of them through very harsh travel restrictions and a large part through an incentive system ”.
For this reason, “we wanted to make a strong commitment to generate activity in our tourism sector promoting its economic recovery. That is our task as the Council responsible for the main economic engine of the Islands, for whose reactivation we must do everything possible, and that has also been our commitment to the employers ”, added Castilla.
The strategy consists of four parts, the first of which is a €1m communication campaign for domestic tourism, an unprecedented budget for this market. The action has been launched this week to serve as support over the coming weeks for three further initiatives to promote local tourism consumption and generate economic activity, to which €15 million will be allocated. These are a tourism voucher for accommodation, another tourism voucher for travel agencies and a stimulus line for complementary activities, budgeted a €5 million each.
“We have made an historic investment to promote Canarian tourism, with a total of €16 million and an extended execution period until December 2021, which will allow us to mobilise the internal market not only in summer, but also to tackle the re-entry into tourism normalisation, which we hope will intensify with our high season and in 2022 ”, explained Castilla.
Up to 50,000 Canarian residents will be able to access one of the two types of tourist vouchers, those for accommodation and those for travel agencies, which will be given as prepaid cards endowed with €200 that can be enjoyed until the end of the year. “These incentive mechanisms for domestic tourism consumption will ultimately benefit our companies and, therefore, their workers,” Castilla highlighted. To this initiative will be added another €5 million, for a line of incentives for complementary activities (leisure, restaurants and active tourism).
During the first two weeks of July, Canarian residents over 18 years of age can register on the website www.somosafortunados.com to apply for a nominative card. The draw will be held on July 14 and a day later the list of winners will be published, at which time the voucher may begin to be used both to pay for the stay and to enjoy any other service offered by the chosen accommodation. People who obtain a voucher will be able to choose between the establishments registered in the General Tourist Registry of the Canary Islands that have adhered to this initiative and that have a POS with an assigned business number, in order for the beneficiary to use their card in a face-to-face setting.
The tourist voucher for travel agencies will be achieved through the same process, a draw before a notary public, and on the same dates. In this case, the first difference is that the card will also have a charge of €200, but the Canarian resident will not have to contribute any financial amount. This voucher must be spent in physical travel agencies, located on any of the eight islands, and must be used to contract a vacation package that involves a minimum stay of 5 days in summer season (between July and September) or a minimum stay of 3 days between October and December.