Lanzarote Island Guide

If you're looking into buying a property for sale in Lanzarote and are thinking about taking the plunge then our guide gives you more insight into some important facts and figures about the island and it's all important tourism sector.

Facts & Figures

Lanzarote is home to approximately 140,000 officially registered residents and boasts a surprisingly cosmopolitan demographic, with about 30% of the population comprised of non Spanish nationals.
The British make up the largest expatriate group on the island with just over 8,000 official and permanent residents. However, at any one time this number is greatly augmented by tens of thousands of holidaymakers from the UK - Lanzarote's major tourist market. The other largest expatriate groups span three continents and come from Colombia, Morocco and Germany - each of whom number 4,000 plus residents.
The island is split into seven separate municipalities and Arrecife is the most populous by far, which is little surprise as this large conurbation is also the island's capital city and home to 53,357 people, 13,158 of whom are non Spanish nationals. The least densely populated district is Haria, home to just 5203 residents.
Tourism accounts for around 80% of island GDP and Lanzarote welcomed over 2 million visitors in 2011. The UK accounted for 882,233 arrivals, followed by mainland Spain (367,581), Germany (330,994) and Eire (172,507).
New emerging markets include Italy, which has been opened up by Ryanair who now operate cheap flights from a number of cities there to Lanzarote. Whilst the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands all contribute a significant number of tourist guests year on year.

The Main Resorts

Tourism is, of course, concentrated in the main resorts, of which Puerto del Carmen is both the largest and the oldest.
Formerly known as La Tiñosa Puerto del Carmen is the spot where modern day package tourism first took off on the island back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In those days though there were no tarmac roads and only one hotel for visitors to stay in - the Los Fariones.
In just 20 years however both the resort and island wide tourism expanded enormously, as visitor numbers rapidly hit the million plus mark. Creating demand for further expansion to the north in Costa Teguise and to the south in Playa Blanca.
At the same time the tourist infrastructure was enhanced and expanded, most noticeably by the creation of 'proper roads' and the development of unique visitor attractions such as the Mirador del Rio and the Jameosdel Agua under the aegis of the famous local artist César Manrique.

Foreign Tourism

Foreign passenger arrivals hit a high water mark in 2003 of 1.85 million arrivals. But Lanzarote's tourist sector has displayed remarkable resilience since then in the face of multiple challenges such as increased competition from newer destinations and the economic downturn since 2007. With non Spanish national arrivals remaining buoyant as the number of foreign tourists rose last year by just over 19% versus 2010 figures.
The main resorts continue to benefit from ongoing investment projects funded by both central government and the European Union. And this has been most visible over the last couple of years in Puerto del Carmen, where millions of Euros have been invested in order to maintain the resorts competitiveness in an increasingly crowded travel marketplace. Improvements are set to continue as the local authorities drive through plans to upgrade all accommodation and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the main seafront promenade along the Avenida de las Playas.