Economy in Tenerife

The Tenerife economy is based on the tourism industry. With one of the best climates, the island attracts around 3 million tourists every year.

The tourist industry in the Canaries grew rapidly after 1950, with an accompanying increase in the number of hotels and government-run inns. Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife are the main ports of call during the peak tourist season, which falls between December and March.

Besides that, at a much lower level, Canarians live from the banana industry, other agricultural exports and recent emerging service industries.

Agriculture

Agriculture has long been the economic mainstay of the Canaries.

Wine from vines grown on un-irrigated slopes formed the staple product until 1853. In that year a grape disease caused by phylloxera (a plant louse) attacked the vineyards, and viticulture was soon largely replaced by cochineal production.

The cochineal industry declined (owing to competition from synthetic dyes) in the late 19th century and was replaced by the cultivation of bananas, tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables and fruits.

Bananas, which are still the Canaries’ leading crop, are protected in the Spanish market against foreign competition.

Tomatoes are grown between November and April for export and the cultivation of flowers and plants is a new industry. Cereal grains must largely be imported.

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