From zero tourism to record tourist arrivals three years on from lockdown
Three years ago today, Sunday 15th March 2020, the Canary Islands went into lockdown due to Covid, planes were grounded, the skies were empty, hotels closed, and the islands experienced ‘zero tourism’ for a much longer period of time than anticipated.
The recovery of tourism has been well-documented and celebrated by air traffic controllers who posted an image on Twitter yesterday (Tuesday) showing the number of planes bringing holidaymakers to Tenerife.
The Canary Islands closed 2022 with 14 million tourists visiting the archipelago, which is approaching pre-pandemic figures and exceeded them for the first last month since that fatal day three years ago.
In their tweet, controllers put: "The approach to Tenerife South airport is quite entertaining at the moment, with up to 12 planes waiting at any one time to land on the island”.
The Canary Islands is the largest region in Spain at 1,370,000 square kilometres, and one of the largest airspaces that are coordinated from the same Control Centre in Europe, according to data from Enaire.
This is because most countries on the continent have much smaller airspace to control as it is an upward extension of their territory. The Canary Islands are different as their airspace reaches the south of Nouadibou (Mauritania) and along the Western Sahara coast, above the strip of water ‘owned’ by Morocco.
All in all, it’s a great sight to see and bodes well for a bumper year and a full recovery of the island’s economy.