0329 GMT February 28, 2021
The islands’ regional government expects the number of incoming tourists to plummet to five million this year, down from 15 million in 2019, before rebounding to eight million in 2021, regional tourism chief Yaiza Castilla told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference of G20 tourism ministers held in La Palma.
“We hope in the future we will be able to raise the forecast month after month,” she said.
Ravaged by travel restrictions, the heavily tourism-dependent archipelago has set up rules both to prevent outsiders from bringing contagion and to convince visitors that travel is safe.
Located around 60 miles off Morocco’s Atlantic coast, the chain of seven islands is popular among sun-seeking northern Europeans, especially during the winter, when half its tourism revenues are generated.