Home » Business » Virus mutation is completely ruining the winter season in the Canaries

Virus mutation is completely ruining the winter season in the Canaries

Santa Cruz Beach in Tenerife

The high numbers of infections there have led to the travel warning for all Canary Islands.

(Photo: dpa)

Madrid When the Canary Islands successfully lowered their infections in autumn, there was great hope that they would be able to save their main season – because that is winter. It is now clear: nothing will come of this.

The most recent setback came from Great Britain: Spain, like most EU countries, suspended flights to the United Kingdom on Tuesday after an allegedly even more contagious mutation of the corona virus appeared there.

That has brought the important business with British vacationers to a virtual standstill. The British are the largest group of visitors to the Canary Islands, ahead of the Germans. According to the online booking platform Destinia, which has half a million hotels on offer, 68 percent of Britons have already canceled their Christmas and New Year holidays in the Canary Islands.

Ricardo Fernández, General Director of Destinia, sees the isolation of Spain and most other EU countries from Great Britain as a problem for accommodations and airports. “You can’t close stores overnight,” he says. “One day the borders open and demand picks up and the next everything is canceled again. The uncertainty is absolute. ”

The virus mutation is just the latest setback for the Spanish sun islands. Since the number of infections has risen dramatically again in numerous countries, there have been cancellations. This was even true for Spanish holidaymakers after most of the 17 autonomous regions sealed themselves off from the outside world from November and banned entry and exit.

Germany warns again against traveling to the Canaries

Corona cases also rose again in the Canaries themselves after the islands had worked hard to slip below the 50 case mark within seven days at the beginning of their winter season – and thus below the German limit value for classification as a risk area.

Due to numerous new infections in Tenerife, this value is now 69 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Since last week, Germany has classified the islands again as a risk area and warns against traveling there. That means: returnees have to be in quarantine in Germany.

To prevent exactly that, the Canaries decided a few weeks ago to require every traveler to have a negative PCR test. They wanted to offer travelers more security on the one hand, but also prevent holidaymakers from bringing the virus to the islands on the other.

However, at around 100 euros, a PCR test is not only expensive, but also not always easy to get in times of overburdened laboratories. The industry says it may have put off at least some Spanish vacationers.

Philip Moscoso, tourism expert at the Spanish business school IESE, expects the devastating tourism record this year to lead to rising prices in the coming season. “Many hotels will have to close,” he says. “If the demand rises drastically after a successful vaccination, this will lead to a certain price increase in the short term.”

The industry will recover quickly because the demand for travel will be high once the pandemic is over. Over the next five to seven years, he expects a similar number of cheap offers from both hotels and airlines as before the outbreak of the corona crisis.

26 hotels are for sale on the sunny islands

So far, the Spanish hotels can still take advantage of aids such as short-time work benefits or state-guaranteed loans. But the short-time working rule expires in January and the loans are only a temporary solution. Businesses have to assume that they can pay back the debts they accumulate.

In addition, many Spanish hotels are small or family businesses that cannot do without any income for more than a year. According to the idealista real estate portal, 26 hotels were for sale in the Canary Islands at the end of October – 37 percent more than the year before.

In all of Spain, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE), overnight stays fell by 72 percent from January to October, and in November it was even 85 percent. The slump is particularly serious for the Canaries – their economic output depends, just like on the Balearic Islands, to 35 percent on tourism.

More: Meliá boss Escarrer warns: “Many hoteliers can’t hold out”

– .

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.