Thanks to LANCELOT DIGITAL -Canarias and TUI agree on the selective testing of tourists
The CEO of the tour operator, Sebastian Ebel, foresees that within 15 days Germany could lift the travel warning to the Islands
The Canary Islands today laid the foundations for the development of the first safe corridors with sanitary guarantees, through the main tour operator in the world. The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, and the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Yaiza Castilla, held a new telematic meeting early this afternoon with the CEO of the TUI group, Sebastian Ebel, to continue advancing in the strategy recovery of tourist activity in the context of a global pandemic, as a result of which the tour operator confirmed the resumption of its operations between Germany and the islands as of next October 3, sheltered by its confidence in the destination.
In this meeting, in which the CEO of the RIU hotel group, Carmen Riu, was also present, the commitment to join forces and develop a pilot project aimed at maintaining the position of the Canary Islands as one of the main tourist destinations was raised within the current situation derived from Covid-19 worldwide and in which the Islands maintain an image of security.
To this end, the Government of the Canary Islands and TUI will collaborate so that tourists who contract their winter holidays with the tour operator can undergo selective tests -depending on the infection rates of their place of origin-, and voluntarily, in such a way so that it is verified that they are not carriers of the disease or that, if they are, appropriate measures are taken to prevent infections. Both parties agreed that this measure would help generate even more confidence in travelers.
The model that has been proposed for these tests and for what is considered due to its speed, reliability, cost and availability to use antigen tests, would imply applying a sampling system or percentages of people to carry out the tests based on the region of origin so that it will be higher or lower depending on the parameters given.
The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, described the meeting as “very productive” because TUI’s decision will encourage other tour operators, with whom there is also contact, to make decisions in the same direction. For Torres it is important to send a security message and he considers that now, with an index of 51.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, “it is time to ask the German Government to recommend the Canary Islands as a travel destination as soon as possible,” he said. .
Yaiza Castilla appreciated the importance of this agreement with the largest tourist group in the world, which until before the pandemic had just over a third of the market share in the Canary Islands, moving 2.5 million passengers to the islands. Similarly, she highlighted that “this agreement of wills seeks to be a precedent for the rest of the agents involved in the tourist activity of the Archipelago to collaborate in the pursuit of the objective of recovering the flows of travelers.”
According to the CEO of TUI’s Hotels & Resorts, Cruises, Destination Experiences and Recruitment, the Canary Islands is a priority destination for the company, almost unique in winter at the moment, which is why they have opted for a change in strategy by resuming their operations with the islands.
The President of the Canary Islands informed the CEO of TUI of the measures that have been implemented by the Government to reduce the incidence of Covid-19 and that are giving clear results and advanced that the measures to control the pandemic will remain in force and achieve that in the next few days it will be possible to lower the mark of 50 cases established by Germany to warn about the risks of travel to the different regions. The situation of the pandemic in the Canary Islands is having a favorable evolution, which is why the president also insisted, in the subsequent press conference, that “we are risking our health and the economy and we cannot lower our guard. We have to continue complying with the standards that are allowing us to improve ”.
Ebel congratulated the Government for these results, a downward trend that has motivated them to resume their operations, in addition to the fact that in his country travelers on their return home from areas with warnings are only required, at least until the end of October, a negative Covid test. However, they foresee that in November that measure will change and a 5-day quarantine will be added. The TUI CEO estimated that within two weeks, should this trend continue, Germany could lift its warning to the Islands.
Sebastian Ebel explained the important financial commitment that his group assumes with the resumption of operations starting this Saturday, October 3 with the Canary Islands, with an initial offer of 12,500 seats per week and 7 flights, which would increase depending on the demand.
This decision of the tour operator, according to Yaiza Castilla, shows the trust that exists in our destination and in its tourism companies that have made a great effort to adapt their services, transmitting security and making it compatible with vacation enjoyment, a fact recognized today by the CEO at the meeting.