Gran Canaria Welcomes Irish Visitors Return
In the middle of troubling economic times, holiday islands with an increase in visitors from a particular country will be delighted to see them - and so it
is with Gran Canaria who has seen the number of Irish tourists rise while the number of British holidaymakers has been declining.
But is it because the island has been giving a warmer welcome to the Irish than the British?
Not a bit of it - both the UK and Irish economies have fared badly in recent times, but the Irish have a good economic reason to visit, while the British
might have been tempted by other destinations.
It's because of the Euro.
Ireland and Gran Canaria both use the Euro, so the cost of a holiday in Gran Canaria has remained pretty constant in recent years. The Irish tourist
doesn't even have to pay commission on foreign exchange as they can use the same money they have in Ireland in Gran Canaria.
It's a different story for the British though.
Their currency, Sterling - or the pound - has crashed in the last couple of years by over 30 per cent against the Euro, sending the cost of visiting local
attractions and dining out soaring. One result has been a surge in popularity of package holidays where meals are included in the price of a holiday at
the hotel tourists have booked.
In place of their traditional holiday favourites, areas which don't use the Euro and whose currency isn't strong against Sterling have done well - notably
Turkey and Egypt.
But the Brits do still visit Gran Canaria despite the rise because for many a Gran Canaria holiday is something special. An Irish newspaper put it well
when they described it as:
'The Canary Islands are a home from home for many an Irish holidaymaker, offering the twin attractions of value and sunshine. Those who love Gran
Canaria wouldn't go anywhere else. Those who haven't tried it might like to think again. Far from being just one long beach, the island is a continent in
miniature, with surprising contrasts in landscape that range from deep ravines to moun