Canary Islands ‘ready’ for return of British tourists

The Canary Islands’ minister of tourism says the archipelago is ‘ready’ for a return of British tourists as she unveiled a new sustainable tourism strategy.

Over the next three years, the Canary Islands hopes to “redefine” its tourism offering for a post-Covid world.

The public-private initiative  aims to “build a new ecosystem” and deliver a “digital transformation” of tourism in the Canaries.

Plans include “the consumption of local supply” and utilising an ‘internet of things’ on the islands to make them more self-sufficient, reduce its carbon footprint and build towards a circular economy.

In response to questions submitted by Travel Weekly, tourism minister Yaiza Castilla said: “The Canary Islands are ready for British tourists, in fact we are eager for them to come.

“We are prepared, we are also vaccinating ourselves very fast, in order to have a guarantee of health reciprocity.

“We continue talking about test before travel but now we also talk about vaccination. The UK is doing very well. We want to be at the same level at the UK and also be ready with the same health protocols so that we can guarantee their safety, so that they can enjoy their holidays in the Canaries

Asked if she supports vaccine certification, Castilla said: “Yes, I think it’s a positive measure and I think it must be seen in that light.

“We will have to wait for details from the European and national health authorities to understand if heath ‘passports’ are enough by themselves to allow travel or if they will be supplemented by an antigen test, for example, to further minimise risk. I don’t know.

“But in any case it is positive because a common approach is being adopted in order to guarantee freedom of movement between countries and the reopening of tourism and economic activity.

“I am in favour of this approach as long as it is done with health and safety in mind. Health officials from all EU countries are looking towards these new shared protocols, which we plan to implement.”

She added: “To all the tour operators and travel agents in the UK, we look forward to welcoming your customers back to the Canary Islands very soon.”

Meanwhile, German line AIDA Cruises is extending sailings around the Canary Islands with the ship AIDAperla until the middle of May. The start and destination port of the seven-day voyages is Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

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