Tag: SOS Save Our Summer

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

Centre-Right Pact Between Regionalists (CC) And Resident Conservatives (PPAV) Returns Marco Aurelio Perez As Southern Mayor

The conservative Partido Popular-Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) and the right of centre regionalist Coalición Canaria (CC) have this Thursday signed a local government pact that will shape the future of the southern Gran Canaria tourism municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The alliance, dubbed a “Pact for Stability and Socioeconomic Progress of San Bartolomé Tirajana”, represents 60% of the votes cast in the municipality’s recent local elections, emphasised the  mayor-elect, Marco Aurelio Pérez (PP-AV), who returns for the third time to lead the local council responsible for some of the most important tourism areas on the island, including Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and San Agustín.



Local Government Coalition Agreement Maspalomas and the South of Gran Canaria

A governing coalition pact has been finalised in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The Popular Party–Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) conservative residents party is to join forces with regionalist centre-right Coalición Canaria (CC) to govern the main tourist municipality on Gran Canaria for the next four years. Marco Aurelio Pérez will serve as mayor for the entire four-year term, and the Popular Party will take charge of Employment, Sports, Roads and Infrastructure, and Human Resources, among other areas. The regionalists, led by Alejandro Marichal, will oversee Urban Planning, Economy and Finance, and Tourism as their main departments.



Storm Óscar Latest: Government of the Canary Islands Declares Rain Alert for Western Islands and Gran Canaria

A storm system, dubbed Óscar, has formed over the last few days over the mid-north Atlantic, unusual for this time of year, and has led to concern from meteorologists and journalists as it passes south of the Azores, its tail should reach The Canary Islands, before the system heads northeast towards mainland Spain.  Advisory warnings have been issued in expectation of heavy rainfall, primarily in the Western Isles of the Canary Islands Archipelago, though some rainfall is also expected to reach Gran Canaria over the next couple of days.  It seems unlikely that any major consequences will stem from the bad weather, however these things can be unpredictable and so every precaution is taken to ensure people are informed and kept safe.



Foundation Investigated for Alleged Mismanagement of Public Funds Meant for Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors

The 7th Investigative Court of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has opened a preliminary investigation into the Social Response Foundation Siglo XXI and four of its directors. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in Las Palmas filed a complaint against them, alleging crimes that could include forgery of commercial documents, mismanagement, and embezzlement of public funds. The investigation aims to determine whether this nonprofit organisation, and its officials, could have misused public funds intended for the care of unaccompanied migrant minors, during the migration crisis of 2020 that was precipitated by the pandemic confinement on the islands, leading to a build up of arrivals having to be assessed and cared for by the Canary Islands Regional Government, using hotels left empty due to the lack of tourism. The estimated amount involved in the alleged misuse stands at around €12.5 million between 2020 and 2022 on Gran Canaria alone.



Canary Islands Expect Rain and Potential Storm Weather Next Week

The Canary Islands are preparing for a change in the weather next week, as a significant increase in cloud is expected bringing higher probability of rain. The effects of a powerful storm forming in the Atlantic Ocean are likely to extend to the Canary Islands as well as neighbouring Madeira and The Azores.




SOS Save Our Summer Travel campaign to help restart UK tourism to Spain from May 1st

A campaign action group, which started last Friday from Mallorca, calling themselves “SOS Travel” is continuing to grow having gained support from several UK tourism companies and the south of Spain’s Asociación Provincial de Hoteles y Alojamientos Turísticos de Alicante (APHA – Alicante Provincial Association of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations). They are fighting to advocate for a tourism sector that finds itself against the ropes, particularly when it comes to seasonal destinations like the south of Spain and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. Tour operators and airlines like Easyjet, retail agencies and British companies that work with inbound tourism from London and other points of origin in the United Kingdom have launched the SOS “Save our Summer” campaign to apply pressure on the government of Boris Johnson to find pathways to a return to normality and recover tourism from May 1 2021.
Reporting: Timon .:.Cover Image: Bård Ove Myhr



Some formidable UK travel companies, with pre-Covid-19 revenues of more than £11 billion annually, are said to be “united in outrage” following conflicting advice, last week, from UK government ministers regarding the reopening of the hospitality and tourism sector.
The action group, which is telling consumers to ignore ministers’ “don’t book” travel advice, is supported by travel firms large and small who have guaranteed that anyone booking through them will be entitled to either a refund or a change of date for their holiday if travel is cancelled or not possible due to government Covid-19 restrictions.
Save Our Summer, or SOS Travel, also urges prime minister, Boris Johnson, to set out a very clear roadmap for opening up the travel sector, for staycations and overseas trips, from May 1st.

British travel agents are somewhat reliant, of course, on the rate of vaccination in Great Britain, often confusingly reported, where almost 16 million citizens have already received their first dose of the vaccine, however, right now, less than 600,000 individuals have been given a second dose to achieve supposed immunity. The health problem caused by the pandemic in the United Kingdom, like everywhere, is compounded by the economic problems associated with lockdowns and restrictions, so not only are businesses not able to operate, and unemployment rising faster by the week, but those who still hold on to their jobs are either still furloughed and so on reduced incomes or are simply being very cautious with so much uncertainty around.  Nevertheless some in the UK press claim to know that there will in fact be international tourism this summer, however there is scant evidence that anyone can rely on, and we can be sure that every summer destination is desperately looking for some sign, any sign, that the tourists are coming back.
British tour operators and airlines move millions of UK citizens around the world every year, The Canary Islands in recent years have received around 5 million British tourists annually, with nearly 1.5 million of those choosing Gran Canaria. The numbers were rising for many years, but then started to slow down even before the pandemic. Everything has now been pretty much stopped for a year, with visits to the Canary Islands over the last 12 months barely in the hundreds of thousands, and most resort areas remain all but empty, with the rare exception of those few hotels who have found other ways to survive, including rebranding for Digital Nomads and assisting Spain with its humanitarian efforts.  All in all, in the archipelago, we have so far lost 35% of GDP, 40% of employment which supports up to 60% of our population.  Though many sectors have been able to continue, due to our relatively low infection rates, the simple fact is that Gran Canaria and the islands needs to see a return to tourism too, and up to a third of all our tourism comes from the UK.  Nevertheless, Canary Islands tourism has one strength over most other destinations in Europe, and that is that we are a speciality winter tourism destination, with all round sunshine and the only sub-tropical climate in the EU, so many businesses here, who are able to, have already started to plan for a return after this coming summer, in the hope of capitalising on our uniqueness in this market.
The tourism sector is desperately looking for movement, but UK reservations for the summer this year are just not looking good, although there has been a small increase, over recent weeks, and some tour operators do report that there are more hopeful reservations for Autumn and Winter, which of course bodes well for The Canary Islands, many say that where they are currently seeing the greatest interest for holiday bookings, is for 2022 onwards.
With non-essential international travel currently restricted from the UK and Spanish restrictions also in place to try to avoid transmission of the British variant, UK tourism right now is all but impossible, however many are hopeful of being able to set a date in the future at which everyone can aim themselves. The Johnson government are scheduled to explain their “de-escalation plan” next Monday, February 22, so that the UK can start to organise for their hoped-for return towards normality. Tour operators are now looking for travellers to book from the May 1, and they are (at last), according to industry sources consulted in the last couple of days, offering guarantees that any bookings made now will come with the right to a full refund (didn’t they always!?) or a change of dates, if necessary.

Paul Charles, chief executive of the PC Agency and co-founder of SOS Save Our Summer, is reported to have said: “Give us all a break Boris.
“The industry is united in outrage.
“Senior government ministers have done a good job of torpedoing recovery in the travel sector and threatening jobs across travel and tourism.”
“UK citizens should ignore their conflicting advice and book summer trips with confidence, knowing that they can get a refund or refix their travel dates if booking through a reputable travel provider signed up to SOS.”

The SOS Save Our Summer campaign is supported by more than 120 travel companies, including Easyjet Holidays, Trailfinders and DialAFlight, as published this week by the British newspaper he Guardián. “The message is that’ UK citizens should ignore the conflicting advice of government ministers and book summer trips with confidence. Today the travel industry is on the edge of the abyss” they say . “There should now be a clear roadmap established as of May 1 specifically for travel, in order to restore consumer confidence and protect millions of jobs at stake.” The group is also calling for quarantine measures, currently in force to enter the country, be replaced by an extensive testing program, with rapid tests on arrival and departure.
The protest movement has also extended to the hospitality sector which calls for restaurants to be able to open in a way that is safe but allows them to operate “in a commercially viable manner”, a problem analogous to the one faced by the hoteliers.

Over 120 SOS Travel supporters currently include Trailfinders, easyJet Holidays, Travelopia, Mr & Mrs Smith, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, DialAFlight, Sykes Holiday Cottages, Audley Travel, True Travel, Wild Frontiers, &Beyond Group, Elegant Resorts, Campbell Gray Hotels, Celebrity Cruises, Steppes Travel, YourGolfTravel, Ski Solutions, the Turquoise Holiday Company, Teletext Holidays, Plan South America, Oxford Ski, the Thinking Traveller, Bellini Travel and True Luxury Sport.

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