The Canary Islands continue on the path of post-pandemic recovery, but not at the same rate in all sectors. This has been expressed by the president of Fund Grube and a member of the Círculo de Empresarios de Gran Canaria, affirming that his sector, that of commerce, has warned that “if the prices of flights to the Canary Islands are not lowered, we will not be competitive ».
"The rise in prices and the lack of product are our biggest concern at the moment," said Dhiraj Chhabria. because the improvement in the data on tourist occupation "is not reflected to the same extent in consumption in stores" because "tourists now pay more for their flights and stays in the Canary Islands and, therefore, are consuming fewer products when they go out of their hotels.
This, as he pointed out, "is more noticeable in German and Nordic visitors, who plan more consumption at the destination and, in addition, are closely experiencing the invasion of Ukraine, which leads them to contain more spending."
Fund Grube, one of the main chain stores in the Canary Islands specializing in the sale of different beauty, lifestyle and fashion products and which employs 700 people, claims to be suffering from the inflation that "we see in our suppliers in general, in the premises, products, services, works, facilities… all have raised prices». To this is added the cost of electricity and the slowdown of the merchandise they receive from abroad. "Production is not enough to meet all the demand that exists worldwide," he added.
"The health crisis, the conflict in Ukraine, the lack of supplies, the rise in prices... many factors are causing a change in the profile of visitors", which far from being the profile of an older tourist and with destination spending there are more tourists with children typical of summer.
This has in turn caused a change in trade in the Canary Islands, which will help tourist areas to overcome the crisis, but not so much in local production. Along the same lines and as a positive aspect, Chhabria pointed out that “as a result of the pandemic, many tourists are arriving who did not know the Canary Islands and who previously visited more distant places such as the Maldives or Thailand. Now they are delighted with our fate."
The Círculo de Empresarios de Gran Canaria foresees that in order to overcome adversity it is "essential" that "entrepreneurs remain united, that they seek support and long-term agreements because there is still a long way to go until a certain normality is achieved."
Another important aspect to overcome this crisis is "innovation, looking for ways to be efficient because the labor market has changed, teams and customers are even more important." In this sense, he pointed out that it is necessary to encourage electronic commerce from the Canary Islands, to reduce the high price of flights from the peninsula for non-residents and that the administrations facilitate investment, free trade and unblock projects that can attract to more tourists and investment.