Tenerife is the largest and most populous of the Canary Islands, and one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. Airports within the Canary Islands rank among the top ten for passenger traffic in Spain; with Tenerife South ranking seventh with more than nine million passengers. Between the two airports – Tenerife North and Tenerife South – more than 12 million people are served. Annually, Tenerife welcomes more than six million tourists, making it one of the top destinations in Europe.
The Canary Islands are one of the largest exporters to Africa, a market worth €227.42 million in 2014. The island is only a 45 minute flight away from Morocco, compared to a two and a half hour flight time to reach Madrid. At present, routes to Marrakech, Agadir, and Dakar are being served from Tenerife twice a week, and a route to Casablanca three times weekly.
During a Routes Africa presentation, Airam Diaz, commercial director of Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife spoke about his involvement in the consortium. The Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife will open a third cruise terminal in September, in time to host the 2016 Seatrade Cruise Med event. Two terminals currently exist, but the new one will be the largest in the region at more than 8,000 square metres, in order to deal with the growing cruise passenger numbers.
In 2015, Santa Cruise de Tenerife reported a ten percent increase in passengers to 933,121. Aena, the state-owned company that manages most of Spain’s airports, will invest more than 120 million euros into building a new terminal for Tenerife South airport.
Speaking ahead of the event, Stephanie Wear, the economic development consultant for tourist board Turismo de Tenerife said, “We’ve been a big supporter of Routes for the past five years and attending it as a delegate since 2009. We’ve positioned ourselves as the gateway of four continents because of our geographical location and the commercial relationship we have with North and South America, Europe and Africa."
“It is an opportunity to show off the destination to airlines, especially since a lot of people have this notion that it is a European sun and fun destination – but it is more than that,” she added.