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Travel and tourism in the Canary Islands - statistics & facts

The Canary Islands are, after Catalonia, the second most visited region in Spain by international tourists. Located off the coast of Morocco in the North Atlantic Ocean, this volcanic archipelago has become a major holiday destination for Europeans. With its subtropical climate and a vast array of landscapes, ranging from endless coastal dunes to millenary forests and even snow-capped volcanoes, the Canaries have something to offer for every kind of traveler and locals are well aware of it. Tourism has been one of their key economic activities for decades, with its contribution to the regional GDP peaking at over 35 percent in recent years. Therefore, it goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic is jeopardizing the future of many islanders.

Tourist arrivals despite coronavirus

In spite of the difficult travel conditions throughout nearly all of 2020, the United Kingdom, Germany and the rest of Spain remained the three most important tourism source markets for the Canary Islands. In any case, international tourist arrivals dropped by around 70 percent compared to 2019. In 2020, British tourists in the Canaries barely passed the one-million mark, down from almost five million in the previous year. As for German tourists, arrivals dropped by around 65 percent, amounting to fewer than 900 thousand.

Taking a look at the main destinations, Tenerife was the most visited of the Canaries, with British tourists accounting for the leading source market ahead of Spaniards and Germans. Overall, some 1.9 million tourists visited the island, down from almost six million in 2019. Gran Canaria, the second most visited destination in the archipelago, received 1.3 million tourists, a drop of approximately three quarters. In this case, however, the Nordic countries were the main origin of visitors.

The importance of the hotel industry

As in most major tourist destinations, hotels play a key role in the Canary Islands. In fact, over 60 percent of tourists stayed in hotels ─mostly 4-star establishments─ in 2020. Due to the health crisis, many remained closed even after the lockdown. Nevertheless, overnight stays in hotels amounted to 21.5 million, 7.6 million of which took place in Tenerife and 6.2 million in Gran Canaria. The room occupancy rate reached nearly 50 percent and the average daily rate (ADR) stood at 97.64 euros. At the end of the year, the revenue of the hotel industry amounted to one billion euros, only one third of that of 2019.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Travel and tourism in the Canary Islands" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Profile of visitors

Hotel industry

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "Travel and tourism in the Canary Islands".

Travel and tourism in the Canary Islands, Spain

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Travel and tourism in the Canary Islands - statistics & facts

The Canary Islands are, after Catalonia, the second most visited region in Spain by international tourists. Located off the coast of Morocco in the North Atlantic Ocean, this volcanic archipelago has become a major holiday destination for Europeans. With its subtropical climate and a vast array of landscapes, ranging from endless coastal dunes to millenary forests and even snow-capped volcanoes, the Canaries have something to offer for every kind of traveler and locals are well aware of it. Tourism has been one of their key economic activities for decades, with its contribution to the regional GDP peaking at over 35 percent in recent years. Therefore, it goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic is jeopardizing the future of many islanders.

Tourist arrivals despite coronavirus

In spite of the difficult travel conditions throughout nearly all of 2020, the United Kingdom, Germany and the rest of Spain remained the three most important tourism source markets for the Canary Islands. In any case, international tourist arrivals dropped by around 70 percent compared to 2019. In 2020, British tourists in the Canaries barely passed the one-million mark, down from almost five million in the previous year. As for German tourists, arrivals dropped by around 65 percent, amounting to fewer than 900 thousand.

Taking a look at the main destinations, Tenerife was the most visited of the Canaries, with British tourists accounting for the leading source market ahead of Spaniards and Germans. Overall, some 1.9 million tourists visited the island, down from almost six million in 2019. Gran Canaria, the second most visited destination in the archipelago, received 1.3 million tourists, a drop of approximately three quarters. In this case, however, the Nordic countries were the main origin of visitors.

The importance of the hotel industry

As in most major tourist destinations, hotels play a key role in the Canary Islands. In fact, over 60 percent of tourists stayed in hotels ─mostly 4-star establishments─ in 2020. Due to the health crisis, many remained closed even after the lockdown. Nevertheless, overnight stays in hotels amounted to 21.5 million, 7.6 million of which took place in Tenerife and 6.2 million in Gran Canaria. The room occupancy rate reached nearly 50 percent and the average daily rate (ADR) stood at 97.64 euros. At the end of the year, the revenue of the hotel industry amounted to one billion euros, only one third of that of 2019.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "Travel and tourism in the Canary Islands".

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