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Friday, June 12, 2020

The 'New Normality' awaits tourists in Puerto de la Cruz

Lago Martiánez, Puerto de la Cruz Image: Jorge Franganillo Some Rights Reserved

The transition from Phase 2 to 3 has been almost imperceptible in La Orotava and Los Realejos, while in Puerto de la Cruz many shops and restaurants are still closed

The transition from Phase 2 to Phase 3 has been almost imperceptible in the three municipalities of the La Orotava Valley, but with a different reality. Although it is true that the Canary Islands have done their homework well and increasingly embrace the 'new normality', there are still municipalities in unequal conditions. This is the case of Puerto de la Cruz, in the North of Tenerife, the cradle of tourism in the Canary Islands, which finds it difficult to achieve this goal when it lacks its key element: tourists.

Unlike La Orotava, Los Realejos or even Santa Úrsula, commerce and hospitality in Puerto de la Cruz are not ready to get back to business. There are many establishments that are still closed to the public, from large perfumery shops, clothing and shoe brands, to bars and cafes in popular streets such as San Juan, the La Ranilla neighborhood or around the Plaza del Charco.

Aware of this reality, the local government this week launched a campaign to support local trade to mitigate as far as possible the consequences of the health emergency on the sector. After 'zero tourists' and waiting for the borders to reopen on July 1, the council hopes with this action to relaunch the sector so damaged by the crisis.

The initiative is called ‘Your business enchants’ and invites you to buy from local businesses. Banners have been hung on the main streets of the city and the neighborhoods will also be papered in the coming days.

DELAY

The campaign, criticized by some merchants for "being too late", will also be deployed by the media, as well as by the municipalities of the region, inviting all the citizens of the island to participate in this recovery in the coming days.

The image of the city is still quite like a desert though. With the exception of some businesses, such as hairdressing or beauty and aesthetic salons, many establishments still remain closed, as do hotels. None have opened their doors and there are even those who have chosen to place a tape across to prevent passage or mark its closure.

On the Avenida de Colón, one of the streets most frequented by visitors, there are few open venues. It's the same in the Venezuela avenue and surrounding streets, the Paseo de San Telmo or the La Paz area.

Although the opening of Lago Martiánez was contemplated in Phase 2, in May, the facilities remained closed due to the fact that conservation works and improvements are being carried out in the complex, as happens every year. There is no date for it to start operating again, however, the City Council is working on a four-fold plan: maintenance work, which is nearing completion; the implementation of card payment, an objective that has been taking place for months; security with protocols and installing a public address system.

A ‘KEY’ OPENING

Many people and merchants consider it "key" that the venue open its doors to the public as soon as possible, since this would revive nearby businesses, especially restaurants. At the same time, it would be a way to attract visitors from other locations, although its capacity will be limited.

The municipal swimming pool of Los Realejos and the sports complex El Mayorazgo, in La Orotava, have not returned to their activity either, even though their use was contemplated in Phase 2 of the de-escalation and they do not have a date to do reopen despite the fact that it is expected to "be as soon as possible".

In Los Realejos and La Orotava the reality of the commerce and restaurant sectors is very different.

In the first municipality, the stores are almost 100% open in the five commercial areas of the city, while the bars, cafes and mainly the restaurants "are taking a little longer and there are still several closed," confirms the councilor for Commerce, Adolfo González.

Los Realejos was one of the first municipalities to give aid to trade and launch a commercial promotion campaign ‘Purchase in Los Realejos. Now more than ever ’, which in addition to promotion includes raffles at the hotels in the municipality. This was done in Phase 1, at the beginning of May, with a great publicity and commercial diffusion to promote purchases and consumption in the town.

In La Orotava, the campaign was carried out a little later, at the end of last month, and also included advertising spots, banners and badges to encourage shopping in the town.

The truth is that the current situation has once again revealed that Puerto de la Cruz must seek strategies so that its internal economy does not depend exclusively on the tourism sector, although right now its aspiration is to recover visitors as soon as possible, fundamental to achieving the new and much desired normality.

La nueva normalidad espera por los turistas en el Puerto de la Cruz

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