40th El Corte Inglés Rally Islas Canarias 10-12 March

RAlly 40 islas CanariasOver ninety entries, including thirty international teams representing  16 different countries and teams in the FIA European Rally Championship, will take part in the 40th Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés from 10-12 of March 2016.

The itinerary is set to have twelve special stages. The Rally will have its starting ceremony on Thursday 10th of March at 20:30 in the Parque Santa Catalina, in Las Palmas, as in past years. The Edificio Miller and Plaza de Canarias will be part of the headquarters.

Qualifying rounds start on Friday morning, expect road closures on mountain roads through the summits and on the north and west sides of the island…

rally 40 Map

• Friday: 11/03/2016
SS2/5 Moya-DISA                  24,73 km
SS3/6 Tejeda-Festina  15,01 km
SS4/7 Santa Lucía                 14,5 km

• Saturday: 12/03/2016
SS8/11 Ingenio-DISA  22,84 km
SS9/12 Gáldar-Festina          13,97 km
SS10/13 Valleseco                15,45 km

The Rally Islas Canarias ‘El Corte Inglés’ will form part of the ERC Asphalt Masters and other three categories: ERC, ERC2 and ERC3. The championship adds; the ERC Ladies Trophy and the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy.

Thursdays Super night Special Stage has been cancelled.

See all the stages and places to watch the Rally here 

The official page for Rally Islas Canarias el Corte Inglés

“Only a safe rally is a good rally”

seguridadIn order to see the rally up close, you need to arrive in advance due the necessary road closures which will take place one hour and a half before the start of the each special stage. Follow the instructions of safety personal and it is essential to know the meaning of the various safety signs. The organisation has provided ribbons indicating specific areas. These are marked with two colors: red and yellow.

The Red ribbon indicates that the area is dangerous and is strictly prohibited, in spanish: prohibido público.
Yellow means an area where you can enjoy and watch the race, in spanish: zona de público.
It is important to be in elevated areas, preferably 2.5 meters high or even higher from the road.



Gran Canaria Airline News: New Routes

Germania airlineGermania will start flying from Hamburg to Gran Canaria next summer and in the winter season will start operating from Nuremberg, while Ryanair has announced the launch, in November, of a new Scottish route from Glasgow International Airport.

Germania airline is set to launch two more weekly flights from Nuremberg, adding to the Air Berlin and Tui Fly offerings, which currently supply two weekly flights. Nuremberg is the ninth most important airport in the German market for Gran Canaria with passenger volumes of more than 29,500 tourists last year, so this new route could add up 9,000 new customers flying from Germany.

From next summer Germania will also operate a connection from Hamburg for the first time. The new flight will depart every Saturday and will only be scheduled for the summer season, starting this May.

Another new connection for the German market is with Air Berlin, who have announced they will maintain a flight from Leipzig throughout the year, a flight that was initially scheduled only for the winter season.  Air Berlin will also join Condor airlines, up until now the only airline flying from Leipzig to Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria airport aena new facadeNew connection with Scotland
Next winter Ryanair plan a new route linking Gran Canaria to Glasgow International joining the currently operating weekly flight from Prestwick. This increased supply from Ryanair is a major boost to help increase on the 64,000 Scottish tourists that visited the island last year, according to the latest data from AENA, the Spanish Airport Authority.

Currently Gran Canaria is connected with Scotland via 6 weekly flights departing from three airports: Glasgow International, Glasgow Prestwitck and Edinburgh Turnhouse , to which now can be added the new flight from Ryanair, and the tour operator TUI Thomson to Aberdeen, from 25 April.

Gran Canaria connectivity with northern Europe seems to be increasing still further with these newly announced routes complementing the other 13 new routes announced earlier this year.

Iberia Express increases seats to Madrid
Iberia Express will next summer increase the number of seats to Madrid by 9%, from 41 to 43 weekly flights by adding two of their Airbus A321 fleet, an aircraft which offers greater passenger capacity.

The airline announced that it has lowered the prices to Gran Canaria by 50% and has made a low cost rate available to Canarian residents, allowing them to fly to Madrid starting from just 25€ each way.

International Women’s Day week of activities

SBT DiaDeLaMujer2016_ProgramaYesterday was International Women’s Day, originally called International Working Women’s Day the event is celebrated on 8 March every year around the world. It is a world wide reminder of respect, appreciation and love towards women, a celebration for women’s economic, cultural, political and social achievements. An expression of love for women to raise awareness for  human rights and equality.

Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality

The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The United Nations observance on 8 March will reflect on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. It will equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.
[read more…]

On Gran Canaria the day is celebrated in many ways in different municipalities, from photographic exhibitions, to concerts, to walks and talks.

Mogan international women day igualdadExhibitions, theater, workshops, lectures and other activities, all in Spanish, are part of the extensive program of events in San Bartolomé de Tirajana running until March 18th, and also in Mogán, a program of different activities is planned, including a free concert ‘Cantos de mujer’ on Friday at 21:00 in Plaza Pérez Galdós in Arguineguín. On Sunday 13 March a solidarity 1,6 km walk from Avenida del Muelle starts at 11:30am, and in Plaza Pérez Galdós at 17:30 a musical for children, ‘La reina del hielo’ (the Ice Queen) based on the hit movie Frozen.


Newsbrief : Binter Canarias sale for inter island flights this week until Sunday 13 March

Binter Canarias, the regional island airline, is offering more than 20,000 seats to fly with Bintezo at a very special rate between 2 May to 30 June, on Canary Islands inter-island routes. The sale period to buy the tickets started on Monday and runs to Sunday 13 of March. Seats are subject to availability. No refund or changes possible.  BinterCanarias Bintezo

For example a return flight to Fuenteventura is just €28 + a few cents, all fees included.

Well worth it if you’d like to do a bit of island hoping to get the summer started…

Marine Conservation in Canarian Classrooms

loro parque foundation education projecs Between February and April this year, The Loro Parque Fundación are scheduled to provide awareness-raising sessions in various elementary and high schools throughout the Canary Islands, thanks to an “altruistic agreement” signed with the Ministry of Education,the Canarian Government and the Universities.

This initiative, which started last month, is part of the Experts in Animal Welfare programme, a Loro Parque Fundación project to raise awareness amongst young people about ocean preservation and, especially, about the risks that threaten their integrity and sustainability. The project aims at triggering enthusiasm for the marine environment and animal species.

Several elementary and high school centres on Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are set to participate in these sessions, while many other educational institutions in the Canaries are expected to join in the activities, looking both at marine conservation and other areas associated with animal welfare.

With this initiative, the Loro Parque Fundación say they are reinforcing their commitment to raising awareness within the Canarian community about the need to get informed, protect and conserve the environment and various animal species — “a labour that has been undertaken by this non-profit international foundation in environmental education, research and biodiversity conservation since 1994”.

Editor’s Comment:

Though the ostensible aims of this announced project appear noble, questioning minds must also ask why it is that an organisation bearing the name of, and funded by, a well known tourist attraction might wish to educate local children.

Though there is clearly a huge need for much greater understanding of ocean environments, marine wildlife and animal welfare in general, there are cynics who might say that a company such as this runs the risk of presenting a skewed perspective on the protection of various species, in particular those from the ocean.

Loro parque not only keeps Orca (“killer whales”) for public display and performance, but is also involved in an ongoing dispute regarding an Orca named Morgan, who was taken from the wild in 2010 on a “rehabilitate and release” permit off the Dutch coast, however within 18 months she had been transferred to Tenerife’s Loro Parque as a performing “asset” in complete disregard, say campaigners, to international law and established guidelines on orca captured from the wild.

If children in the canary islands really want to learn about oceans, their protection and “risks that threaten their integrity and sustainability” this publication recommends they ask the “experts” from Loro Parque how it is that Morgan’s removal from her family pod in the north atlantic, and being trained to perform for food, is helping with that goal, let alone how it is that a 15-foot (4.5m) animal, used to swimming up to 100 miles a day, is now being “protected” in a relatively tiny concrete pool.

#JustThinking #FreeMorgan #BornFree #GranCanaria

Canary Islands illegal immigration stopover

15 detained for forged documentationPolicía Nacional have detained members of an illegal immigration network operating through Canary Islands. Iranian citizens of Albanian origin trying to reach the United Kingdom have been using Canary Island airports as a stop over. 15 people have been detained and forged documents seized from various countries including the UK, Italy, Bulgaria, Poland and Israel.

The Discovery of falsified documents initiated the investigation
Last December, in Tenerife airport, an individual of Iranian nationality was stopped, trying to fly to London with a forged passport and identity card. With the information gathered, agents began an investigation that uncovered a criminal organization facilitating transport of Iranian citizens of Albanian nationality to Canary Islands airports using forged documents. After several investigations researchers discovered a plot utilising airports with connections to the United Kingdom, especially London, operated by low cost airlines during the tourism high  season. They forced people travelling to pay large amounts of money to get to their final destination, in this case most often the UK, where they then requested political asylum.

There were also individuals of Iranian origin acting as “facilitators”  and guiding small groups of two to three individuals through the process. The members of the organisation accompanied the migrants trying to cross through border controls, taking interest in them if they had any problems and even offering translators if they were held by the authorities.

As a result of the investigations, 15 people have been detained in the airports of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, two of them accused of being members of the criminal organisation. Among the documents seized were forged Bulgarian and Polish identity cards and passports, an Israeli passport reported stolen, Italian identity cards, two authentic Bulgarian and two other stolen British passports.

The police investigation, which remains open, was carried out by border posts assigned to the airports of Gran Canaria and Tenerife South, in collaboration with the General Commissariat for Immigration and the UK Border Police.

Street lights for the El Veril link road to PDI

El Veril street lights1The Cabildo de Gran Canaria has started to install street lighting on the Las Burras link up to El Veril  (GC-1 to GC-500) in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, which at the present is only illuminated at either end.

Twelve energy efficient, galvanized steel street lights with intelligent control system are being installed as part of a wider plan for improvement in the area.

El Veril street lights

Equipment to reduce power consumption will also be installed, which will reportedly allow energy savings of up to 40% and increase the life of the lamps, which in turn significantly reduces expected maintenance costs.

The work has been given a budget of €159,300 and will last for five months.

Newsbrief: Las Canteras beach in top ten beaches in Spain

Las Canteras beach , Las PalmasLas Canteras Beach, in Las Palmas, has been highlighted, in the Trip Advisor travellers choice awards 2016, as the ninth best beach in Spain. This popular beach in the capital is ranked high on the site, which is ​​based solely on public reviews.

The Hosteltur website also notes that Playa de Las Canteras is considered one of the best urban beaches in Europe, because it is part of the coast of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Its natural charms made ​​up of golden sand and calm waters along two kilometers beach, close to quality services and its proximity to streets full of life in the heart of the city highlight its uniqueness and chosen as a favourite for city break travellers looking for an all year round pleasant climate.


€4.475b+ Gran Canaria tourist spending 2015

Puerto de Mogan harbourGran Canaria was consolidated in 2015 as the island with the fastest growing tourist spending in the archipelago with an increase of 13% reaching €4,475 million, which is to say €515 million more than 2014.

The latest data provided by the Canarian Institute of Statistics (ISTAC) highlights that Gran Canaria has improved its tourist spending figures every year consecutively for the past six years and in 2015 managed to reach its highest growth in the last decade.

Since 2009, total tourism spending has grown 60% increasing by €1,600 million, from €2,800 million to €4,475 million last year. This increase is associated with an improvement of 16 % in the average expenditure per tourist, which has risen €170 during this period, from €1,028 in 2009 to €1,198 last year.

Average expenditure per tourist improved on Gran Canaria by 8% in 2015 standing at €1,198 on average per tourist visit, representing an increase of €91 compared to the €1,107 spent on average by each visitor  in 2014.

German tourist numbers were not only one of the highest, but were also the highest spenders with an average €1,343 per visit, which is to say €77 more than Nordic tourists who are the second biggest spenders with an average of €1,266 per stay.

As for the growth in average spending by countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland stood out above the rest with an increase of 22% confirming the progressive recovery of this traditional market, reaching in 2015 a historical record on Gran Canaria by contributing €718 million to the economy. The domestic market rose 24% and contributed €338 million, while the Netherlands with a 26% improvement and €236 million completed the group of countries that have increased their average spending the most on the island over the past year.