After the tourist hit of 2020, the year 2021 has been the beginning of a timid recovery that advances at different rates in the different areas of the island. According to the latest data published by Tenerife Tourism, compiled by the Economic Development area of the Council insular and updated until November 2021, the North is at the tail of this incipient tourist recovery, with an increase in the number of tourists staying compared to the disastrous 2020 (+ 15%) which is 4 points below the island average, almost four points below the South (+ 17.8%) and far from the figures from a destination with much less tradition like Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which has grown by 50.40% and added 146,410 tourists staying in the first 11 months of last year. The capital is getting closer to half of the 371,218 who chose the North. Even La Laguna, with 17.6% more, grew above the cradle of tourism in the Canary Islands.
Talking about tourism in the North of Tenerife is talking about Puerto de la Cruz, a destination where national tourism is the main market for decades. In 2018 it accommodated one in three Spanish tourists who traveled to Tenerife, practically 33% of the total, and its weight in the global local figure was around 46%, followed by a distance by German tourism, with a weight in around 20% of the total. In the South, the importance of British tourism is close to 40%. However, in 2021, with 53.3% more domestic tourism than in 2020, 21% less British tourism and 22.2% more German visitors than in the year of the start of the Covid nightmare, the The North has grown less than the South, has lost overnight stays, has reduced its average stay and has a lower average occupancy.
The northern area of Tenerife, with Puerto de la Cruz at the head, is at the tail in the growth of tourists staying. The island grew an average of 19.1% (2,058,958 tourists staying in total); Santa Cruz, 50.40% (with 146,410 tourists staying); the South, 17.8% (with 1,510,521 tourists), and La Laguna, 17.6% (with 30,809 tourists). In the northern case, this percentage is reduced to 15% and only 371,218 tourists stayed until November 2021. Four times less than the South.
“As of June 30, 2021, only 46% of the accommodation floor in the North was open”
With respect to number of overnight staysIt is worrying that the island in general fell 1.1% to 11,336,126. A collapse that is concentrated in the North, especially in Puerto de la Cruz, where the drop in overnight stays was 12.5%. It is the only area that is decreasing compared to 2020, which was a year with just nine business months. The South remains stable and rises a pyrrhic 0.2% until reaching 9,076,974; La Laguna increases 5.3% and adds 76,482; Santa Cruz it shoots up 57.1% and reaches 333,583. The North was left with 1,849,087 overnight stays, 12.5% less than in the same period of the previous year, the worst in history.
The average stay in Tenerife it stands at 5.51 days and falls by 1.1 days compared to 2020. In the South it stands at 6 days, after losing 1.06, and in the North it falls by 1.57 days and is already below 5, with a mean of 4.98 days. In the case of La Laguna, the average is 2.48, with a decrease of 0.29, and in Santa Cruz it reaches 2.28 days after rising 0.1. Few tourists and few days. Bad business.
The North is back at the tail also in the average occupancy and in the interannual growth of that occupation. The South had 46.6% occupancy, which represents an increase of 28.6%. Santa Cruz achieved 45.9%, after improving 55.1%. In the North, that average remained at 45.8% after reaping the lowest increase: just 20.1% and coming from the year of the state of alarm and zero tourism. La Laguna improved by 53.8%, but its average was even worse: 33.1%.
The vice-president of the Ashotel employers’ association and Porto hotel businessman, Enrique Talg, acknowledges that “2021 has also been a complicated year for tourism, behind 2020, obviously, but in which after zero tourist march 2020 and the timid reopening of accommodation establishments as of that summer, there were a few winter months, between January and March, very complicated with new closings due to the successive waves of the pandemic. As of June 30, 2021, only 46% of the accommodation plant in the northern area and 44.9% of the beds were open, compared to 55% in the southern area or 73% in the metropolitan area.
The reopening data as of July 31 and August 31 show that the accommodation plant in the north of Tenerifee has always lagged behind the rest of the island, which explains its poor results in the statistics for 2021. “This circumstance has influenced indicators such as the number of overnight stays, the average stay or the percentage of occupancy,” explains Talg.
This greater slowdown in the recovery of the northern zone is due to various causes, according to Talg, but mainly to “the lack of island connectivity with the traditional markets of Puerto de la Cruz: the German, which together with the national, are the main ones. Germany, specifically, maintained strong restrictions on mobility for much of the year and that has been noted.
To relaunch the sector in Puerto de la Cruz, the hotel association encourages “to urgently implement a tourism marketing plan of the city, as well as specific tourist recovery campaigns, which have been developed in the insular area through Turismo de Tenerife, and regionally, through Promotur ». For Talg, it would also be desirable to establish contacts with the main tourist providers in the municipality, “both travel operators and online travel agencies.”
In this bad context it is also important to take into account that the foreign tourist profile German is predominant in Puerto de la Cruz, and that precisely in that country there have been several important waves in 2021 and a vaccination rate worse than expected, which has also affected its tourist behavior. In addition, the German Government, through the Robert Koch Institute, has placed the islands on its black list on several occasions and this affected the tourist flow.