Tourism in the Canary Islands

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Tourism in the Canary Islands [1]
Year Population

(Jan, Feb)
2008 9,210,509
2007 9,326,116
2006 9,530,039
2005 9,276,963
2004 9,427,265
2003 9,836,785
2002 9,778,512
2001 10,137,202
2000 9,975,977
1994 7,569,096
1993 6,545,396
Country Population
(2008 total)
Germany 2,498,847
Great Britain 3,355,942

Tourism is an essential part of the economy of the Canary Islands,[2] an archipelago off the west coast of Africa. Seven main islands and six islets make up the Canary Islands. They had more than 9 million foreign incoming tourists in 2007.[3] Tourists seeking sunshine and beaches first began to visit the Canaries in large numbers in the 1960s. Canary Islands is a leading European tourist destination with very attractive natural and cultural resources.[4][5]

Tourist attractions[edit]

The Canary Islands have 257 kilometres of beaches.[3] Despite the small area of the seven main islands (7,447 km2), they have very diverse landscapes, including long sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs, deserts, and woods. Pico del Teide is the highest mountain in Spain, with a height of 3,718 m, is located on Tenerife.[2] They have four national parks, four biosphere reserves (Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Palma), and more than 140 other protected areas.[3] Visitors in the national parks are not permitted to leave defined paths or to camp in the parks.[2]

Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the Canary Islands. The island of Tenerife travel about 5 million tourists each year, making it the island receives more tourists.[6] Tourist attractions here include nightlife, walking, and whale-and bird-watching.[2] Loro Parque (meaning "Parrot Park"[7]) on Tenerife has a collection of 3,000 parrots.[2] However, most of these parrots cannot be seen by visitors. There is another facility south of the main park where approximately 330 parrots species are kept and a breeding program takes place. Other attractions in the park include alligators, chimpanzees, jaguars, penguins, porpoises, Killer Whales, sharks, and tigers.[7] San Cristóbal de La Laguna is a World Heritage Site. Tenerife also has the highest elevation of Spain, a World Heritage Site that is the third largest volcano in the world from its base, El Teide.[8] Teide is the most visited national park in Spain, with a total of 2.8 million visitors, according to the Instituto Canario de Estadística (ISTAC), and it is one of the most visited National Parks in the world.[9][10]

Gran Canaria has the biggest city in the Canary Islands, Las Palmas. Gran Canaria receives approximately 4 million tourists every year. Maspalomas is one of the most famous tourist attractions. This island is considered to have the best weather in the Canary Islands and some of the best beaches of Europe (Playa del Ingles, Las Canteras, etc.). Gran Canaria has near 50% of its territory declared an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This island is usually called "a continent in miniature" because of the diversity of its landscapes.

Lanzarote, the most northeasterly of the Canary Islands, has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It has an arid volcanic landscape and there are about 300 volcanic cones on the island. The island has a low-key approach to tourism and the traditional architecture of island's interior are taken into consideration. This approach was influenced by the artist César Manrique, who was from Lanzarote.[2] Manrique created works in Lanzarote and the other islands,[2] including Jardin de Cactus, an amphitheatre-shaped garden with ten thousand cacti and stone sculptures. A 26-foot-high (7.9 m) cactus sculpted from metal by Manrique is located by the entrance to the garden.[11]

In late 2009 the Canary Islands Tourist Board launched a marketing campaign called "Operation No Winter Blues". 100 Canarian residents aged between 18 and 35 were selected to be ambassadors for the Islands. The campaign is based on the original name of the Fortunate Islands, with the ambassadors sharing the islands' good fortune with selected countries. The campaign involves the 100 citizens traveling to 14 European destinations spreading positive news about the Canaries and lasted until mid December.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Statistics
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Andrews, Sarah, 2004, Canary Islands, Lonely Planet.
  3. ^ a b c Official Canary Islands Tourism Website - The Canaries
  4. ^ Moreno Gil, S. & Brent Ritchie, J. R. 2009. Understanding the museum image formation process: A comparison of residents and tourists. Journal of Travel Research. 47, 4, 480-493.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Coyuntura Turística de Canarias en la Página Web Oficial del Gobierno de Canarias
  7. ^ a b Boehrer, Bruce Thomas, 2004, Parrot Culture, University of Pennsylvania Press
  8. ^ Parque nacional del Teide: web oficial de Turismo de Tenerife
  9. ^ El Teide (Tenerife) es el parque nacional más visitado de Canarias con 2,8 millones de visitantes en 2008
  10. ^ Official Website of Tenerife Tourism Corporation
  11. ^ Hobshoue, Penelope, 2006, In Search of Paradise: Great Gardens of the World.

External links[edit]