Tag: British Tourists

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

La Alcaldesa Bueno Secures Incredible Majority in Mogán

Mogán, May 29, 2023 – The often controversial incumbent, O Bueno, La Alcaldesa, has achieved an unprecedented and resounding victory once more in Mogán. The candidate who switched her party’s name, for these elections, to “Juntos por Mogán”, a local ally of the regionalist conservatives “Coalición Canaria” (CC), will once again assume the role of mayor. Her party has clinched a rather noteworthy 17 out of the 21 seats in the Municipal Council of this popular tourism destination located on the sunny southwest of Gran Canaria.

The Canary Guide Día de Canarias #WeekendTips 26-28 May 2023

What an interesting last weekend of May ahead. Weather predictions are showing some rain showers are likely across Gran Canaria. This extended #WeekendTips covers up to Tuesday, when all things Canarian are celebrated on the Día de Canarias. There’ll be some gorgeous Patron Saints’ festivities happening in San Fernando de Maspalomas as well as in Valleseco.

Fun Fact:
Valleseco literally means “dry valley” in Spanish, but is actually one of the wettest municipalities Gran Canaria. Nestling between the famous fresh water sources of Firgas & Teror, half way up the island’s mountainous northern slopes, this area is well known for its apple growers, cider and its weekly market

Six weeks since the unexplained disappearance of Anna-Karin on Gran Canaria

The authorities on Gran Canaria have been engaged in a rigorous search for Swedish tourist Anna-Karin Bengtsson, who went missing in the south of Gran Canaria around April 9. Her unexplained disappearance has caused her family much distress, with no clues to her whereabouts having emerged in the six weeks since they first realised her phone was no longer functioning.

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 19-21 May 2023


An exciting May weekend ahead with abundant events and festivities taking place all around Gran Canaria. There are Patron Saints’ festivities for Motor Grande, in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, and in El Tablero in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and up in the mountains of Artenara. There is also a two day lively exhibition event in Meloneras boulevard and the Rally Gran Canaria is held this Friday and Saturday.


Canaries face prospect of empty beaches for Springtime as UK confirms non-essential international travel ban

As the new Covid-19 strain spreads in United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson this Monday announced his roadmap out of the pandemic restrictions including a total ban on non-essential international travel both from and to the country until at least May 17 2021.  Though this may have put a hole in any hopes for a quick return to tourism for The Canary Islands, leaving empty beaches for springtime, it does at least offer a sense of certainty for when we might expect British holiday makers to start to return.  Nevertheless, on these small sub-tropical islands off the coast of Africa, survival often is success and an eye is often cast out across our many horizons for opportunities to turn our environment to our advantage.

Empty beaches for springtime
Brits hoping for any sort of get away to enjoy our empty beaches for springtime, or around easter, had been hopeful of positive data allowing them out of lockdowns and travel restrictions within the next few weeks, however Downing Street made clear that the UK was not willing to take any more risks when it comes to unnecessary journeys in and out of the country. The global travel and aviation sectors have been among the hardest-hit during the pandemic, and in few countries more so than the United Kingdom. The new outright ban comes following fears over data that suggests new Covid-19 strains have been spreading across the country.

Editor’s comment:The Canary Islands received upwards of 5 million British annual visitors over recent years, with more than a million and a half of those choosing Gran Canaria, but now there is certainty of empty beaches for springtime.  The tourism and hospitality sector in the archipelago represents more than 35% of GDP employs more than 40% of the workforce, which in turn feeds nearly 60% of the island population. The decline income and capital losses experienced over the last year of the pandemic in the region have already been shown to be dropping at twice the national average, with the regional economy having shrunk by more than 20% in the last 3 quarters.
Local businesses have struggled with meagre support from the Regional and National Governments, with many self-employed feeling completely abandoned, with contributions still being taken despite a total lack of earnings in most cases, and employees totally reliant on the ERTE (Spanish furlough scheme) to try to make ends meet.  As businesses go under so more and more of the workforce are turning to look for government assistance, and that is foreseeably going to become more and more difficult to administrate under Spain’s already beleaguered Social Security system, creaking under the weight of an aging population and a total lack of reforms for more than a decade. Rental assistance for many has been near impossible to access, meaning ever increasing numbers of people could be facing a housing time-bomb as landlords, also desperate for income, chase growing debts from a population unable to earn a wage.
Spain’s progressive coalition Government, under Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, had barely managed to establish their socialist agenda before this pandemic redrew the rules of engagement, derailing extraordinary plans to ensure Minimum Vital Income for every citizen, who fell below a certain threshold of earnings, in an environment now which is likely to lead to hugh swaithes of the tourism workforce being completely without income for months, and with the reignition of Spain’s tourism industry wholly dependent on origin markets such as the UK, Germany and to a lesser extend other Northern European economies.
For The Canary Islands this latest blow will be painful, however it does at least give us something to aim towards beyond empty beaches for springtime.  In mainland Spain a campaign to Save Our Summer began just two weeks ago, urging the UK Prime Minister to set forward a road map which would allow for summer bookings to start once again.  Here in The Canaries we are blessed with year-round sunshine and a vibrant winter tourism season too, so many business owners now will be weighing up the costs involved in chasing uncertain Summer revenues, as opposed to keeping their powder dry to aim towards a safer and less competitive Winter Holiday Season.
Back in London, PM Boris Johnson said on Monday that domestic overnight stays and self-contained accommodation will be allowed to operate again no earlier than 12 April but non-essential international travel will remain out of the question.
Highlighting his new, long awaited, road map out of lockdown, Johnson said, “This is part of the roadmap’s second step and it will take place at least five weeks after the first step” referring to the 8 March date set for a return to schools, part of his conservative government’s four-step plan, but pointed out that these steps could be postponed if the prime minister or his advisers deem it necessary.
He said the earliest date that international holidays could be allowed would not be before 17 May.
The UK government’s Global Travel Taskforce is set to reconvene by 12 April, and issue a report recommending how they think international trips might resume safely, he said.
Boris Johnson told journalists that this will “give people time to make their plans for the summer”
Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee responded to the news by saying “As the worst-hit economic sector in 2020, this will ensure we will also be the worst-hit sector of 2021”
“The UK and devolved governments must set out sector-specific support to help ensure there are viable airports to be able to restart,” Dee added, saying that the Prime Minister’s recognition of aviation’s important economic role, in particular for businesses that rely on access to international markets or visitors to the UK, was welcome.
British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said it is “critical we start looking at a way to restart travel”, and added that he is “pleased the government has acknowledged that”
“We support a data-led approach that protects public health. We want to work with the government’s task force on a road map now to ensure that aviation is in a strong position to support the UK as we emerge from the pandemic.” concluded Doyle

Interval between stages
For the UK there will be an interval of at least five weeks between each of the stages of the plan (except the first, which is divided into two steps) to allow the impact of the changes in infection rates and hospital admissions to be assessed. The key dates are as follows:
– Starting March 8: All schools will open and extracurricular activities and sports will be allowed in the open air . Likewise, recreation will be allowed in public outdoor spaces and there will be a green light for up to two people to sit down for a coffee, a drink or a picnic.
– As of March 29:  up to six people or two different households can meet outdoors. Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis or basketball courts, will reopen and organised sports for adults and children, such as grassroots football, will also return. High school students will be able to access tests and will be required to wear a face mask in classrooms and in shared spaces such as hallways.
– As of April 12: the reopening of many sectors of the economy is planned. Non-essential retail businesses, hair salons, and some public buildings such as libraries will be back in business. Leisure activities will be allowed once again in indoor facilities such as swimming pools or gyms. One of the great novelties is that Brits will be able to travel independently to establishments with kitchens or camping sites. For trips abroad, we will have to wait until this date for the plan developed by Johnson’s Travel Taskforce.
– Starting May 17: Goodbye to the ‘rule of six’ for outdoor gatherings which will, it is expected, be significantly increased up to 30 people. Residents of two different households will be able to mix inside and cinemas, museums, hotels, theatres and sporting events will all reopen. Football stadiums will be allowed to accommodate up to 10,000 spectators, while weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes will be limited to 30 people.
– As of June 21: if the situation allows it, limits on social contact will end . Nightclubs will be able to reopen and Downing Street hopes to eliminate restrictions on the numbers attending weddings and funerals.
Confidence for spring and summer
Boris said the goal was to be “cautious, but irreversible. At each stage, decisions will be based on data, not dates. There is a credible route to a Britain without COVID and a world without COVID”.
Likewise, the wild haired British leader put on display his confidence that the situation will be very different in spring and summer: “They will be seasons of hope, of looking and feeling incomparably better for all of us.” he concluded.


The Canary News

TUI will resume flights to the Canary Islands from Monday

Tour operator TUI has announced this Sunday that they will be suspending all holiday packages to Spain until August 9, with the exception of those flying to the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, to which clients will once again be able to travel starting on Monday July 27.  In a statement, the popular tourism company indicated that those who were travelling to mainland Spain between July 27 and August 9 will be able to cancel or modify their reservations, while those who have packages purchased for after August 10 will be informed of their situation by 31 July.
The British Government announced, without warning, on Saturday that travellers arriving in the United Kingdom from Spain will have to complete a fourteen-day quarantine due to an upturn in COVID-19 cases across the peninsula, amid criticism from various sectors affected by the lack of notice about the measure.
Despite the impact that the initiative will have on travel plans, British Airways (BA, part of the Spanish-British group IAG) and easyJet have confirmed that they will maintain their flight program for the time being.  In the press note, TUI have specified that their clients who are currently within Spanish territories can “continue enjoying their holidays” and return on the flights they had reserved.  The German-based multinational have said that it is still “trying to understand” why the British Government decreed a quarantine for all of Spain when there are areas, such as The Canary Islands, that are still considered very much safe.  Boris Johnson’s government imposed compulsory confinement on all travelers arriving from any part of the Spanish State on Saturday evening, with the Foreign Ministry – whose position influences insurance policies – advised against travelling mainland Spain (except for essential travel) however exempted from this recommendation, the Islands.
“We know how much our customers look forward to their holiday abroad and some will be able to accommodate the new quarantine restrictions, therefore all those that wish to travel to the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands will be able to travel as planned from [July 27],” said Andrew Flintham, managing director TUI UK & Ireland.
“We will continue to work closely with the UK Government and look to understand why quarantine has been issued for a whole country, including the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, when the travel advice isn’t aligned (only applying to mainland Spain). We believe regional travel corridors need to be considered,” added Mr Flintham.  The tour operator has insisted that the British Government collaborate more closely with the sector, because “this level of uncertainty and confusion is harmful to business and disappointing for those who have longed for a deserved rest.”
British Foreign Minister, Dominic Raab, today refused to apologise for the sudden decision – announced over the weekend, when a large number of British flights depart to Spain  – despite the effects on the tourism and the travel sector as well as the thousands of citizens who are now frustrated and confused over holiday plans.
In the statement TUI made clear that their clients will still have to quarantine for now, but industry insiders have suggested that this endorsement by the biggest tour operator in the world may well be a positive sign for the agreement of “Travel Corridors” between the islands and the UK.
Source: TUI


Another flight to Tenerife cut short due to fighting passengers

It appears that a different class of British tourist decides to fly to Tenerife these days.
A flight from the United Kingdom that was destined for the Canary Islands this week had to be landed as quickly as possible due to an altercation on board, according to the Air Traffic Controllers twitter account.
According to the tweet published on Thursday, May 24, a flight that departed from Manchester with “conflicting passengers” on board, needed to have its flight plan shortened to facilitate their arrival in Tenerife South as soon as possible where police awaited it on the runway.
This was not the only recent episode of such bad behaviour on a Tenerife bound flight from the UK. In April, three passengers in a state of intoxication began to insult each other and pull each others hair, causing complaints from other passengers, until several members of the crew had to separate them. The whole thing was caught on video and publicised by The Sun.

A tourist who also travelling to Tenerife recently also forced the plane to have to turn around due to their violent attitude, accusing another passenger of stealing her passport and mobile phone.
Yet another recent flight to Tenerife in February, was carrying a British passenger who caused a rerouting of the flight scheduled between London and Tenerife route after taking off all his clothes and remaining naked.
And last but not least, in March, a 70 year old racist passenger on a flight between La Palma-Tenerife Norte insulted an air hostess saying “I do not want black people beside me, get out of here”.

"Flight from Manchester to Tenerife South requests the presence of police on arrival at destination for some conflicting passengers on board. We cut the route as much as possible and coordinate the request. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SafetyFirst?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SafetyFirst </a><a href="https://t.co/VKLTJQN9Dy">pic.twitter.com/VKLTJQN9Dy</a>"<!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="es"><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><p dir="ltr" lang="es"></p><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] -->- Air Controllers (@controladores) <a href="https://twitter.com/controladores/status/999709378415595525?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 24, 2018</a><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><p dir="ltr" lang="es">Vuelo procedente de Manchester con destino Tenerife Sur solicita la presencia de policías a la llegada a destino por tener algunos pasajeros conflictivos a bordo. Le recortamos la ruta en lo posible y coordinamos la solicitud. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SafetyFirst?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SafetyFirst</a> <a href="https://t.co/VKLTJQN9Dy">pic.twitter.com/VKLTJQN9Dy</a></p><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] -->— Controladores Aéreos (@controladores) <a href="https://twitter.com/controladores/status/999709378415595525?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 24, 2018</a></blockquote><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></blockquote>