On the British weighs the ban on traveling to Spain, which tries to protect itself in this way from the strain that emerged in the United Kingdom. This will be the case until the month of March, when the situation will be reassessed. In other words, the influence of Brexit on the main economic activity of the Islands is nil to date.
“There is no way to assess the impact of ‘Brexit’ from a hotel sector that is dead”
As Villalobos himself recalled, the discount had already been made in relation to the depreciation of the pound – now it remains stable – since the 2016 referendum was held in which citizens opted to abandon the common European project. The manager of the Canarian hotel chain highlighted that in 2019 the drop in tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom was “10% and that of all foreign markets, 8%”.
“Since the first weeks of this year, we see that it has strengthened and this affects the expectations of confidence of British tourists,” said Domingo Santana, Investment Director at Casticapital, the family office through which the Del Castillo family they vehicle their operations. A strong currency against the euro lowers the cost of travel to the British who wish to come to the Islands.
As Villalobos confirmed, “reservations are stopped” and will continue in the short term as regards the main issuing market for travelers. Even the general director of Be Cordial, detailed that the balance between reservations and cancellations (pick up) from May to August is negative.
In this way, there would be no room except for pessimism, but it must be relativized, because the outlook is totally distorted by the coronavirus. “I understand that the demand is pocketed and that it will skyrocket as soon as it is possible to travel again,” he said. To this oxygen balloon that feeds logic was added the announcement by Domingo Santana regarding the reactivation of British investment movements in search of Canarian tourist assets. “Two funds have contacted us in recent weeks,” he confirmed.
The Investment Director of Casticapital also appreciated the panorama that is opening for the Islands in the heat of the acceleration that the pandemic has meant for teleworking. On his weekly trips to Madrid, he claimed to have come across a multitude of travelers who the nature of his skills – consultants, programmers … – allowed them to settle on the Islands for several months.
“They want good infrastructures, that the temporary place of residence is cheap and, which is also important for the Canaries, air connectivity,” said Santana to explain the competitive advantage that the Islands have.
“We have been contacted by two British funds seeking Canarian tourist assets”
Another sector that has feared the arrival of Brexit the most is that of fruit and vegetable exports. Antonio Bonny, CEO of Juliano Bonny Gómez SL, confirmed that uncertainty has been the predominant note in the last four years. “Having a soft Brexit has allowed us to relax a bit,” he explained.
Despite the fact that so far there are no changes in commercial relations, Bonny did confirm the logistics problems that are being generated in British roads and ports “due to the paperwork” that must be done now.