The origins of tourism in Gran Canaria

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July 28, 2016, 1:26 p.m.

Do you know the history of Gran Canaria’s tourism?

Many come to the island of Gran Canaria to enjoy their holidays, but they haven’t previously thought about what they will be doing during those days, their leisure plans or even their breaks times at the hotel. Have you ever thought about the history of tourism in the island?

Travelling in general terms, is the background of tourism. Long time ago, romantic travellers included Canary Islands among their favourite destinations. Those travellers were the ones who, back in those days, boosted tourism in the islands and gave them plenty of popularity. In addition to the climatic and environmental goodness of the archipelago, maritime communications network between the islands as well as to the coasts of Africa have been some of the reasons that have helped tourism becoming a very important industry.

Origins of tourism in Gran Canaria

After the island of Tenerife, Gran Canaria was the second island to gain tourist recognition, and therefore, its communications began to improve year after year. The launching of the very first hotel started attracting many tourists, and hence, the hotel offer increased at the same pace as visitors did. Good quality hotel offer has been in Gran Canaria as far back as the early nineteenth century.

In those days, most tourists that came to Gran Canaria were British.  As it happened in many other places, tourism’s growth and expansion was complex since the communications network hadn’t been developed as yet. Journeys were far too long and connections were uncomfortable for travellers. Thanks to the export of bananas, the island’s communications network started to improve; so much so, that the previous main source of income helped the second major source to emerge and later on becoming the very first industry for the Canary Islands.

Subsequently, the island of Gran Canaria started welcoming German tourists, coinciding with the establishment of the National Commission for the Promotion of Tourism which provided better quality and tourists from more nationalities. The 60’s brought sun and sand mass tourism that did nothing but going to the beach and relax, but gradually cultural tourism came eager to know about the island’s gastronomy its fascinating vegetation and charming towns around the island, making Gran Canaria’s inland tourism to increase year after year.

Origins of tourism in Gran Canaria

The main tourist area is located in the south shores of the island. Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles are one of the biggest foreign tourist attractions since the 60’s boom as well as Puerto Rico, Mogán and La Playa de Las Canteras in the capital of the island.

Nowadays, tourism is very important for Gran Canaria’s economy. Its climate is the main reason why thousands of tourists come from Germany, Holland, England and Ireland. As a matter of fact, more than four million tourists come to Gran Canaria every year!

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