The Canary Islands is a Spanish service-oriented community, with a strong focus on tourism. In fact, tourism and construction are the cornerstones of the Canary Islands’ economy (services account 82.38% of regional GDP). Even the islands economy have not improved in the last few years it has not decreased due to the resilience of the tourism sector to economic turbulence. Also, the Canary Islands are a very well-known tourist destination and receive an average of 10 million tourists per year. The Canary Islands region is among the top six regions within the EU in terms of visits by foreign tourists. (1)
The main source of tourists are British and Germans (60%), they rather staying in apart-hotels and also half of the total tourists already visited the island. About the occupation, the visitors are mainly salaried worker and freelancers with an annual income between 25,000 -50,000 euros. (2)
The Canaries have a seven times higher number of tourist arrivals, compared to the European Union average, and 1.5 times more tourists, compared to most similar regions.
The better way of advertisement for promoting the Island is through the Internet and Social media. (1)
Innovation and Tourism
According to the Summary Center of the Canary Islands (1), there is a lot of potential to diversify the tourism sector in new, emerging industries on the Canary Islands, but it is difficult to innovate in the traditional core of the tourism sector. The region lacks innovation culture in this sector.
Tourism is facing increasing competition, and the market is also becoming more diverse, due to an increase in new niche markets. Therefore there is a need for a change towards a more versatile tourism sector that can be achieve through innovation.
The Summary also mentioned that a region such as the Canary Islands seems ideal for service innovation and this is included in the region’s Concept Note: “Canary Islands represent the best laboratory to effectively test the transformative power of service innovation to tackle societal challenges and to then replicate this approach in regions with similar conditions”. A region characterised by year-round tourism and a strong service sector should provide a solid basis for developing new business models and value chains, based on service innovation.
Based on that, in recent years, the Canary Islands Government has added new measures including innovative actions in tourism such as technological modernization with the use of ICT´s and efficient use of resources, promotion of tourism-focused business clusters (Turisfera and FIT), innovation tourism diffusion through distributed centres in collaboration with business organisations and the training of tourism innovation managers.
Initiatives for Innovation in the Canary Islands
In order to promote innovation for the tourism sector in the islands, some initiatives have been taken off since the last few years. Two of the most representatives are The Canary Islands Tourism and Innovation Factory (FIT) and Turisfera: FIT!
The Canary Islands Tourism and Innovation Factory (FIT) is a pioneer project of the Canaries. It is located in the Costa Adeje Tourism Development Centre (CDTCA), a benchmark institute for education in the tourism sector.The FIT is conceived of as a strategic meeting point, aiming to create synergies between the stakeholders in the tourism industry and to contribute to improved quality and excellence. (3)
The Tourism Innovation Factory Canarias (Canary FIT) is an entity designed as a space to facilitate and encourage creativity and innovation in the tourism sector a place from which to showcase new ideas, knowledge, products, services, technologies and applications for the industry and where the companies or persons can try and test projects connecting and sharing knowledge between other companies and institutions. (4) Its premises include meeting rooms and spaces designed to implement the latest products and management models in the fields of catering, leisure, business and hospitality. It also offers spaces where specialised training and interior design consultancy services will be provided.
This platform aims to position itself as a key element of improving processes, developing creative talent of individuals and companies to create innovative products and services tailored to the renewal and promotion of Canarian destinations, and the creation of new tourism enterprises.
FIT Intelligent Travel Destinations drive (DTI), innovative tourism destinations that are consolidated on a cutting-edge technological infrastructure that ensures sustainable development of the tourist territory. (4)
Turisfera is the first Cluster linked to the tourist sector in Tenerife. It emerged in 2010 as a result of the need to create a space for collaboration and encourage innovation among entrepreneurs, public institutions and the University of La Laguna.
Turisfera´s mission is to generate and channel the innovative initiatives of companies in the tourism sector and create a tourism companies network that undertakes innovative projects, strengthens sustainable business models and reinvents unsustainable ones.
It is a commonplace to verbalize needs related to tourism innovation, where the members can cooperate, share visions, analyze trends and, fundamentally materialize them in sustainable projects. Its objective is to encourage and support the creation of innovative initiatives on Tenerife island and in cooperation with other clusters, companies, entities or relevant agents in the same sector.(5)
Some examples of tourism and innovation projects in the Canary Islands are (6):
Company: Atlantis Technology
Country: Spain (office in Tenerife and Telde)
A technology that allows designing a tourist offer personalized and tailored to each client using various channels such as web pages, chat, personal telephone service, and social networks. With this information will create a file with preferences, requests, and experiences to adjust the offer to the maximum detail.
Company: intraHouse Spain
Country: Norway (office in Las Palmas)
A platform and mobile app service that brings cities to life, giving the tourist everything they need to interact with a city, easily and quickly.
Country: Spain (office in Las Palmas)
An online reservation portal that brings accessible transportation and vacations for disabled people.
Country : Spain (office in San Bartolomé de Tirajana)
An online platform solution to solve the communication needs of the hotel inside and outside of its installations. Show the services of the hotel and the external activities oriented to the clients, promoting the sale of complementary services through the same tool.
If you have a company or start-up that facilitates tourism, encourage innovation or has a business model that can be replicated on the island, we ensure that a great option is the Canary Islands. In addition, there are current fiscal incentives that can be very attractive for investors and entrepreneurs.
If you are interested in the tax benefits, the island or if you want to relocate, our Consultants will be glad to help you.
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