WTM: Tenerife to combat ‘perception problem’

Tenerife is stepping up efforts to combat its “perception problem” after visitor numbers from the UK dropped 14% this year.

Richard Hume, head of travel marketing company Hume Whitehead, which represents Tenerife, said: “Tenerife is a fantastic product but has a problem with its perception. People think they know Tenerife because they went there in the 1980s, but many have never been back since.”

At least 90% of Brits only travel to the Arona region, which includes Playa de las Americas and Los Christianos. The Tenerife Tourism Corporation is encouraging Brits to book two-centre holidays and travel to the north of the island.

“It is only a 30-40 minute drive to the north and it has lush landscapes and little fishing villages,” added Hume.

Despite the number of UK visitors to Tenerife falling 14% this year, UK sales manager Alberto Bernabe said the island still has a “love story” with the UK market. In 2008, 79% of British visitors were repeat customers.

The government has plans to regenerate the tourist areas of Costa Adeje, Arona, Puerto de la Cruz and Santiago del Teide.

The corporation plans to launch a training site for agents called The interactive programme allows agents to send questions to the tourist offices on the island and share ideas with each other. Once they complete the six modules, they will have the chance to attend a fam trip.

The trade is key to changing perception of the destination, said travel industry director Pia Louw. “We want people to enjoy authentic Tenerife, not just sun and beaches. We are very concerned that agents and homeworkers realise that there is a whole island to discover.”

Pic: Ricardo Melchior,  President of the Tenerife Cabildo, (Tenerife Government) with Jose Manuel Bermudez, Vice president and Tourism minister for Tenerife.For more images, see our WTM gallery

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