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Island Holidays Up Despite Falling Economies

Jun 20, 2008
Recent economic struggles in the U.K. and the U.S. have taken no toll on the number of holiday bookings to the Canary Islands. In fact, foreign tourism to Lanzarote was up a surprising 49 percent during the first two months of 2008.

Lanzarote is the most visited of the seven islands that make up the Canaries.

During the first two months of 2008, the number of British tourists on Lanzarote rose by nearly 17 percent. This rise in tourism came after predictions that weakening economies around the globe could put a virtual halt to tourism.

Some tourists are speaking negatively about the rise in the costs of meals and other necessities purchased while in the Canaries.

What most fail to realize is that their sterling and dollar just don't stretch quite as far as they previously did. While it is true there is some inflation, the British pound (sterling) and US dollar are simply not worth what they used to be. Current exchange rates play a major part in expenses incurred once tourists reach the islands.

Tourism to Lanzarote from the U.K. doesn't show any sign of decline. However, tourism from Lanzarote's second largest tourist source, Germany, has decreased over the last six months.

The island definitely has maintained its allure with Irish tourists. Lanzarote reported a 3.9 percent increase in Irish tourists during the first two months of 2008. Interest also is increasing in Lanzarote's traditionally strong markets of Norway and Sweden. The number of Norwegian tourists to Lanzarote jumped 31.1 percent, while the number of Swedish tourists increased by nearly 62 percent.

Although some tourist markets have decreased, the overall increase of nearly 11 percent is welcome news for Lanzarote tourism. All of the island's main tourist and cultural sites have reported increases in business. Resort and hotel owners have reported occupancy levels of more than 84 percent during the first two months of 2008.

Lanzarote is obviously a favourite holiday destination for Brits, the Irish and people from several other European countries.

Current monetary exchange rates and economic problems have been an underlying concern for resort owners - however, it appears that many holiday makers understand economic difficulties and plan their budgets accordingly. Many people rely on their island holiday as their one getaway from the stresses and struggles of everyday life.

Lanzarote offers many attractions that keep people coming back for more. Timanfaya Volcano Park, for instance, saw nearly 60,000 visitors during January and February 2008. Tourists can enjoy photo opportunities of amazing vistas, as well as camel rides up the side of a volcano.

The park also helps raise awareness about volcanoes and the formation of the Canary Islands. The park offers tours in English, Spanish and German.

Jameos del Agua was formed by the eruption of a volcano and is another one of Lanzarote's main attractions. Jameos del Agua hosted more than 46,000 visitors during the first two months of 2008.

Statistics from the first part of this year are a very good indicator for the rest of the year. Lanzarote's prime tourist season doesn't begin until May, yet the most recent figures show a significant increase in hotel bookings for the coming season.

It would seem that failing economies and higher exchange rates can't keep island lovers mainland-bound for long. Lower airfares to and from the islands also are helping the work-weary tourist make more intelligent travel plans.
About the Author
For holiday information including reviews for Lanzarote hotels visit yourlanzarote.net

The Lanzarote guide also includes both Lanzarote holidays and airlines who offer flights to Lanzarote from UK airports such as Gatwick.
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