Tenerife: A new lease of sporting life for an old island favourite!
Chalkmarks: Tenerife

TENERIFE has been a sizzling favourite for British holidaymakers offering year-round sun, sea and sandy beaches. For decades the largest of the Canary Islands has attracted sunbathers and party-goers who flock to resorts such as Playa de las Americas on the southwest coast. 

That was so 2019. With the disco lights still out due to the pandemic, this year, as the island gears up to welcome back one of its biggest markets, tourism bosses have had a rethink: sport!

Launched in April, the island has new branding and the latest slogan is “Tenerife Awakens Emotions.”

Chalkmarks: Travel Industry Director - Tenerife Tourism Corporation
Travel Industry Director – Tenerife Tourism Corporation Pia Louw

“Things have changed” said Pia Louw, a travel industry director at Tenerife Tourism Corporation. Speaking at a UK travel event she said one of the first things to go is the word “tourist”.

She said: “We are not just another destination, we need to be more personal with our travellers. We don’t call them tourists any longer, we call them travellers. What has happened to Tenerife is that we are awakening emotions, this is what we do.”

The campaign wants to showcase the island’s sporting and activity lifestyle. The tourist board hopes to prise the British holidaymaker off their sun bed to search for adventure in its “outdoor gym”.

Ms Louw said the Tenerife offers walking routes, biking trails and a 55km ultra running challenge that takes racers from the beach to the summit of Mount Teide and back again, within a target time range of just over six hours. Then there’s golf, surfing, whale watching and star gazing.

https://twitter.com/visit_tenerife/status/1394988921017323528

The island also has a long history with the old capital and Unesco-listed city of La Laguna, in the northeast, that goes back to the time of the conquistadores who sailed across the Atlantic to find gold in the New World. If that’s not enough, there’s food, wine and more than 35 five-star hotels—that’s more than Barcelona.

Ms Louw said: “We have got everything on the island, use it, we are an outdoor gym. 

“There are so many things you can do on the island and it’s that emotion you receive while you’re here, and you keep it to yourself as a secret, you don’t want anyone else to do it. And this is what we want to engage. Things have changed.”

Tenerife is a tourism dependent island which welcomed five million Britons in 2019. Currently it sits on the UK government’s “amber list” along with the rest of Spain. It’s hoping to make the “green list” in a matter of weeks.

Their Covid cases have remained low: 57 cases per 100,000; plus their vaccination programme has been accelerated to ensure 70 per cent of its population has had at least a single dose by June. Tour operator Jet2 is selling flights for June 24 departing from all UK airports.

With many optimistic the summer holiday season will soon restart, it remains to be seen if these flights will bring in the traditional British tourist wanting a decent snooze by the pool or a new breed of traveller ready to trade their beaches and bar crawls for climbing and cycling. Who knows what a little sunshine and sangria can do?

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