Tenerife Ends Q1 of 2024 with a Surge in Tourists and Employment

Tenerife wrapped up the first quarter of the year with a tourist surge of over 1.9 million visitors, marking a 15% increase from the previous year. The island also saw a boost in employment, with 493,150 people employed and an unemployment rate dipping below 15% for the first time, with numbers not seen since 2008.

Vice President of the Cabildo and Minister of Tourism, Lope Afonso, described Tenerife as an “island on the rise” that fosters economic activity and job creation. He acknowledged that there are challenges ahead such as the development of strategic sectors, ensuring generational turnover in primary sector operations, and enhancing tourism quality through the proper regulation of holiday rentals.

These figures were revealed in the latest Economic Situation Bulletin released by Afonso, along with Minister of Industry, Commerce, Primary Sector, and Animal Welfare, Manuel Fernández; Chamber of Commerce President, Santiago Sesé; and Chamber General Secretary, Lola Pérez.

These positive economic indicators stand in contrast to social data released a week ago following Cáritas Diocesana’s Annual Report in Tenerife. According to the report, last year saw assistance provided to 4,750 households and 16,776 individuals facing poverty and social exclusion on the island, a 20% increase from 2018. Cáritas highlighted factors such as housing shortages, precarious employment situations, loneliness, marginalization, and growing social inequality as key contributors to poverty. The report also mentioned the accompaniment of 1,164 homeless individuals in 2023, a 70% increase from five years ago.

A Decade of Progress

Lola Pérez noted that Tenerife’s unemployment rate stood at 33% in 2014 but has since dropped to 14% over the span of a decade, reaching levels last seen in 2008.

She continued to describe these as “ten very good years,” despite a temporary spike to 24% in 2021 due to the pandemic. Pérez highlighted the island’s remarkable occupancy levels during this period and the moderate growth of the active population, with an additional 34,000 active individuals.

Presently, there are a total of 493,000 individuals employed on the island, marking an increase of 116,000 from a decade ago.

“The beginning of 2024 has been very promising for economic activity and employment in Tenerife,” Pérez stated, highlighting a notable growth rate of over 5% in employment, driving the economy, activity, consumption, and contributing to a cycle of growth.

Additionally, she pointed out that the number of registered unemployed individuals continues to decline at a rate of 10%, while those affiliated with Social Security have increased to 395,580 in March, up by 14,819 from the previous year.

Highlighting the results of the active population survey, she emphasized that Tenerife has never seen such high employment levels, with 493,150 individuals currently in employment.

Pérez also touched upon the resilience of the tourism sector, which remains a key driver of the island’s economic growth.

The tourism industry on the island and in the Canary Islands as a whole continues to expand and “amazes” with a new surge in tourist numbers, both international and domestic.

The number of foreign tourists exceeded 1,700,000 in the first quarter of the year, a record-breaking figure for the island, while domestic tourism is also experiencing notable growth.

Despite the increasing number of tourists, the growth in long-term visitors, be it in hotels or apartments, is not matching the intensity of tourist arrivals.

This indicates that holiday rentals are experiencing a rapid increase, attracting a significant portion of the overall tourism growth in the islands.

Additionally, the service sector is experiencing “significant” growth, with a 3.8% increase in registered employment, according to Pérez. He also mentioned that this sector has seen the recovery of “a considerable amount” of productive businesses, totaling 22,600 registered companies.

Vice President and Minister of Tourism, Lope Afonso, has evaluated the economic situation at the beginning of the year, stating that it is functioning well and creating opportunities for employment.

Lope Afonso expressed moderate optimism towards the presented data, emphasizing the importance of continuing to support key productive sectors, such as the primary industry, to sustain their operations.

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