Expectations that the credit crunch, weakening pound and diminishing disposable incomes have sounded the death knell for overseas tourism appear a little wide of the mark. As specific markets, such as Lanzarote in the Canary Islands are reporting a bumper increase in British visitor numbers for the first half of 2008.
According to research recently released by AENA, the Spanish airport authority, tourist visits from the UK have in fact increased by a whopping 15.6% during the first half of this year, in comparison with the same period in 2007. With the island welcoming 509,755 British guests up until the end of June2008.
Irish visitor numbers have increased too – with 123,047 tourists from Eire travelling to Lanzarote over the same period. A rise of 5.4% on 2007 figures – and an indication of the islands incredible popularity in the Republic, with Lanzarote attracting more Irish visitors annually than any other destination in Spain.
Other key markets, such as Holland, Austria, Norway and Sweden have also helped contribute to an overall increase in foreign visitor numbers of 5.6% during the first half of 2008. With Germany the only major market returning negative figures – down 13% to date on 2007.
The Canary Island Tourist Board has also recently reported that the number of Spanish nationals visiting Lanzarote is on the rise too. Up 3.7% during the first half of 2008.
Collectively, these figures represent the best first half annual performance that Lanzarote has enjoyed for many years – a trend which if continued will see the island break the one million British tourist visits barrier for the first time since 2003.