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Canary Islands: A Premier Holiday Destination

Mar 22, 2008
The votes are in, and many European and UK travellers aren't surprised. According to research done by a major travel company, the Canary Islands top the charts as a favorite winter holiday destination. In particular, the two islands of Tenerife and Lanzarote draw a lion's share of the tourist crowd, and the tourism dollars.

This is despite the fact that tourist numbers were down somewhat in 2007 from the previous year. Speculation as to the reason for the slump in tourism in 2007 ranges in opinion. However, with the drop amounting to a mere 2 per cent, tourism officials are confident that 2008 holds greater promise. The tourism industry, and hotel and tour operators in particular, are gearing up for a busy year. This confidence is reflected by companies like Spanair that plan to increase flights into the islands this spring.

Perhaps this is why the month of January saw so many travel deals being snapped up. Flight costs were slashed and tour packages vamped up to attract the after-Christmas crowd. January tends to be a good month to travel to the Canary Islands. Historically, seat sales are abundant during the first month of the year. The tourism industry cashes in on the after-Christmas blues when people have more time to travel and crave a getaway from dreary winter weather.

The annual Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is another big draw for early New Year's travelers. Coinciding with Ash Wednesday, this year's carnival began on February 6. The event always kicks off with the crowning of the carnival queen. The gala is celebrated by locals and tourists alike and is covered extensively by the local media. The days-long festival is characterized by brilliant costumes and centuries-old traditions. Parades, dancing, parties and colorful performances make this event popular with travellers.

If you missed out on the January specials, don't worry. Increased flights to the islands may result in early spring travel deals. Since late summer and early spring are still off-peak travel times, some very economical packages will still be available. Travellers who aren't bound by particular dates should scan airlines for last-minute seat sales.

So what is it that continues to draw tourists to the Canary Islands year after year? The number one reason is still the sunshine and balmy weather. Year-round sunshine appeals to European and UK travelers seeking a break from the dreary winter. Even winters are mild in the Canaries, particularly on Tenerife and Lanzarote. Summer temperatures are perfect for sunning on the beach or taking in a watersport. Warm, but not scorching, weather and constant ocean breezes make the islands a delightful location for a summer holiday.

Of course, there's more to the Canaries than sun and surf. The natural beauty of the islands, ranging from rolling, sand-covered beaches to mountainous ranges dotted with volcanoes, provides endless opportunities for exploration. Outdoor sports like golf, windsurfing, scuba diving, hiking and bicycling bring the traveller close to nature in an activity-oriented manner.

With all that the Canaries have going for it, it will no doubt remain a popular destination spot for many years. The latest report on their popularity has tourism officials vamping up plans for the 2008 travel season to ensure just that.
About the Author
Yourtenerife.net is an online guide for Tenerife and includes reviews for Tenerife hotels

The airport and Tenerife flights are covered, along with the Tenerife weather
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