Lanzarote’s president has praised German tourists as the island seems to attract ‘higher quality’ holidaymakers and is less dependent on Brits
Lanzarote’s president has praised the Germans as the holiday island tries to reduce its dependence on British tourists.
María Dolores Corujo said the German market was in line with her intentions to focus on ‘higher quality’ tourism, in an apparent disdain for British holidaymakers.
She said: “It is essential to work on the diversification of the sector and the growth of markets such as the German market, which adapt to our intentions to focus on higher quality tourism and holidaymakers who spend more when they are here and drive us away. of mass tourism.’
She made her remarks as a delegation from the Lanzarote Council promoted the island at this week’s Berlin Tourism Fair, which began Monday.
Delegation heads said they planned to hold more than 25 meetings with Germany’s top tour operators, airlines and airport chiefs.
Tourists relax on a beach in Puerto del Carmen in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, in 1989
Lanzarote’s president sparked controversy last month when she declared the Canary Island was saturated and wanted to change its approach to tourism.
She said the position would mean aiming to receive fewer visitors “with more spending at the destination.”
Around half of all tourists visiting Lanzarote are British and Ms Corujo has pinned the island’s future tourism strategy to one of ‘diversification to reduce dependence on the British market’ and welcoming more ‘luxury’ holidaymakers.
Lanzarote, known in the past as ‘Lanzagrotty’, is expected to focus its efforts on more French, Italian, Dutch and German visitors as well as mainland Spanish tourists.
The director of the UK’s Spanish tourist office has responded by insisting the country does not “discriminate by type of visitor”.
He said that while Spain’s travel industries need to work together to tackle the challenges of mass tourism, the country’s main focus has been on “becoming a more sustainable and competitive tourism destination.”
Lanzarote hotel chefs have maintained it is ‘unwise’ to speak of tourist saturation.
Francisco Martinez, vice president of Lanzarote’s Island Association of Hotels and Apartments, said political leaders opened an unnecessary debate and were “ill-advised.”
President Dolores Corujo is a Spanish politician and member of the centre-left PSOE party of Spain.
Since 2012, she has been Secretary General of the PSOE of Lanzarote.
In June 2019, she became president of the Cabildo de Lanzarote.
She has made great strides to reforming the island economy and paying off historic debts.
Lanzarote depends on tourism and is hit hard by seasonal fluctuations and is also affected by events such as the pandemic.
Diversification of the economy is a permanent priority for the island.
María Dolores Corujo plans to reshape Lanzarote’s economy after the pandemic
Spain’s famed Balearic Islands, to the east of the peninsula, have also tried to reduce their reliance on British tourists in recent years.
MailOnline reported in late February that locals were struggling to afford rent or owner-occupied properties amid rising prices caused by a shift towards luxury tourists who can afford more expensive properties.
“People are now looking at how to survive,” said Rona Pineda, 32, who shares a two-bedroom apartment with a couple in Majorca. Bloomberg.
‘If you have a normal salary, it is very difficult to find a place to live these days.’