La Palma launches urgent SOS appeal for more tourists after volcano eruption | Travel News | To travel

Patrons of tourism on the island have declared La Palma a “safe and attractive destination” despite the destruction of the volcano. When lava overflowed from the volcano, 981 buildings were damaged without any fatalities.

Tourism representatives from La Palma said the island had seen “massive cancellations” of reservations since the eruption.

The volcano erupted on September 19 but has continued to wreak havoc since then as it slowly moved towards the sea.

Hotels on the island are now only 15% full, as many tourists have canceled their next trips due to the volcano.

Before the eruption, the occupancy rate was 70% and experts predicted a good winter season for La Palma.

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In a statement, the Island Center for Tourism Initiatives said: “We are forced to respond. There is going to be a clear downward trend in the coming months.

“The panorama that looms is that of layoffs, the end of holidays for dozens of workers and even the possibility of closing hotel and non-hotel accommodation.”

The Center said many families and locals depended on the tourism industry and would be hit hard if tourists stayed away.

They said “tourism is key” in the areas of Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Tazacorte on the island.

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Lava from the volcano created a new entrance to land during its first eruption in fifty years. Some air quality stations near La Palma volcano have also reported an increase in sulfur dioxide in the air.

The Department of Homeland Security said the sulfur levels do not yet pose a risk to human health.

The islands’ hotel association, Ashotel, said La Palma “is going to need a specific plan to revive the economy and promote tourism”.

Spain’s tourism minister recently sparked outrage when she suggested the island could be used to promote volcanic tourism and called the eruption a “big show”.

Volcanic tourists have visited the island, with many eager to see the bright red lava heading out to sea.

Young people are said to have taken tourist ferries from Tenerife to witness the eruption.

More than 6,000 islanders and tourists had to be evacuated as the volcano engulfed the buildings on the island.

Tourists on the island at the time of the eruption said they were rushed out of their accommodation and accommodated in disused military barracks before escaping by boat.

Experts said a change in the wind could cause an explosion at the seaside and carry toxic clouds over vast distances.

The acid rain caused is not believed to be dangerous for tourists as it would be so high in the atmosphere.

The UK government notice said: “If you are in an affected area, you should follow the advice of local authorities.

“This includes social media updates from Cabildo de La Palma. If you are planning to visit the island imminently, we encourage you to contact your tour operators / airlines.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot

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