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Tue, 18/02/2020 - 13:48

Promoting activities other than «sun and beach» holidays, that’s the aim of the Canary Islands at the Ghent fair

Visitors to the Fiets in Wandelbeurs, in Ghent, interested in the Canary Islands stand

Cycling and hiking are the main focus of Fiets in Wandelbeurs, the tourism fair held in Ghent (Belgium) last weekend, 15th and 16th February and that the Canary Islands attended to show our islands’ landscapes, climate and orography, a first-class holiday destination to enjoy at different levels.

Those alternative activities other than «sun and beach», have a deeply rooted tradition in Belgium and draw more and more interest. In fact, the more than 15,000 visitors to the fair, want information about destinations, routes, equipment and advise to carry out their favourite activities, so this was a great chance to promote the potential of the Canary Islands for cycling and hiking all year round.

Offer diversification

Both areas and their strategic interest are shown in the Marketing Plan of the Canary Islands, since they encourage an increase in spending at the destination and the geographic expansion of the economic activity that comes from tourism. In addition, offer diversification contributes to decreasing the risk it would pose to focus only on areas linked to «sun and beach» traditions.

In fact, promoting cycling takes up a relevant spot within the communication platform «The Extremesphere Reserve». Fans of this sports find interesting content in it like for instance, a description of the best cycling routes around unique landscapes as well as information about the main competitions taking place on the islands. The same thing happens with hiking, whose specific platform «Real hikes that feel like fantasy» offering a description of the many routes on each of the Islands, with high quality images and videos. This platform includes «Alice in 7 Wonderlands», an original interactive promotional action that passes on the magic of going on the routes around the Canary Islands.

Maintenance and recovery of a key market

Having a presence in Ghent also has a strategic maintenance and recovery objective for a key market already mature and with moderate growth potential. As the Belgium visitors to the Canary Islands data shows, in 2019 there was a slight contraction, with almost 10,000 fewer travellers when compared to 2018, a 1.53 % decrease. On the other hand, flights programmed for the 2020 summer show lower numbers, a little over 29,000 seats offered, 10.7 % less than last summer.

Therefore, promoting this fair poses a chance to show the wide potential the islands have for a tourist profile whose spending power per trip is above average noticeably (1359 euros as opposed to 1196 euros); their average stay is also slightly above average (10.11 as opposed to 9.32); and who would rather stay at hotels (60.4 % as opposed to 57.3 % on average for the rest of nationalities); 65 % share pictures or videos during their stay in the Canary Islands, whereas other travellers do 55.6 % on average; 52 % are couples; the average age is 48; and 7 out of every 10 Belgium tourists are repeat visitors.