Lanzarote dodges the credit crunch

Far from shutting up shop due to the credit crunch, Lanzarote has seen a massive increase in British visitor numbers for the first half of this year.

The easternmost of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote has long been a hot favourite with British and Irish buyers – as the island enjoys a clement year round climate that creates twelve months worth of rental returns for owners of holiday property.

Despite economic woes, tourist visits from the UK have increased by 15.6% during the first half of this year, in comparison with the same period in 2007, according to AENA , the Spanish airport authority.

The island has already welcomed 509,755 Brits this year, and, says the Canary Island Tourist Board, the number of Spanish nationals visiting has also increased also.

Irish visitor numbers have risen too, up by 5.4% during the first half of this year. The 123,047 tourists from Eire visiting Lanzarote make the island the most popular destination in Spain for Irish holiday makers.

Overall, all foreign tourism to the island has grown by 4.9% during the first half of 2008 with other key markets such as Austria, Norway, Holland and Sweden all helping to contribute to this upswing.

The only negative note has been sounded in the German market, traditionally the second largest source of visitor numbers for Lanzarote, but in decline for some years now as German tourists opt for new destinations.

These rising tourist numbers represent the best first half performance that Lanzarote has seen in years, and will see the island break the one million British tourist visits barrier for the first time since 2003 if carried across the rest of 2008.

The figures help to maintain some buoyancy in the Lanzarote property market; as prices have softened due to the credit crunch, there are more opportunities for overseas investors. 

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