In our final part of the facts and figures series, which is based on the Cabildo report recently issued for the year 2007, we're going to look at three areas:
This is the question I'm most often asked about the island: "What's the weather like?" And the truth is that those of us who live here don't really take much notice of the weather, and we for sure don't watch TV forecasts, which are always wrong!
Here are the facts about the weather in Lanzarote for 2007. Rain was recorded on 44 days, but there was none at all in June, July, August and September. In fact from March until November there were less than 100MM of rainfall for the eight months. This is about the same level of rain you can expect in Manchester in a typical December! We did have two months of quite heavy rain - both January and December recorded more than 300MM.
The average maximum temperature throughout 2007 was 29.6 degrees, with a high of 42 degrees in July, but May, August, October and November all attained more than 30 degrees on at least one day. The coldest we measured was 11.5 degrees during March, and the average low was 15.3 degrees. From July to October, the temperature did not fall below 18 degrees at any time of day.
Tourism is the life blood of the island, and contributes either directly or indirectly to all our livelihoods on this small island.
Overall we had 1.6 million tourists visiting the island in 2007. Those from the United Kingdom were far and away the largest group, with more than 800,000, followed by Germany with 313,000 and Ireland with 210,000. One fascinating statistic is that the airport recorded more than 5 Million arrivals in the year, which shows how many flights were taken to and from other countries by residents and how many people flew in to stay in their own properties, or in privately rented villas, as the above figures are for holidays booked with tour operators.
The airports feeding the largest number of passengers in to Lanzarote are Madrid and Gran Canaria, and the UK airport sending the most traffic to the island is Manchester, followed by London Gatwick. The top three airlines with flights from UK were First Choice, Thomson Fly and Thomas Cook, in that order.
Overall, tourists visiting the island dropped a fraction (0.01%), but there were some significant rises and falls when broken down by country. UK tourism dropped 5%, Germany 7% and France a whopping 34%. But rises were recorded from the Spanish mainland (7%) and Ireland (6%).
THIS FACT IS WORTHY OF CAPITALS. MORE THAN 423,000 IRISH PEOPLE VISITED LANZAROTE IN 2007. CONSIDERING THEIR POPULATION IS 4.2 MILLION PEOPLE, THAN MEANS 1 IN 10 PEOPLE FROM IRELAND VISITED LANZAROTE IN 2007!
In the part of Arrecife we had a quarter of a million further visitors on cruise ships and ferries. Cruising has been the biggest growth area in the island by miles. As recently as 1991 just 31,000 cruise tourists came to the island, and last year the number rose to more than 216,000.
One and a half million tonnes of goods were imported through Puerto Naos, and just 178,000 were exported.
Close to a million people travelled on the ferries from Playa Blanca to Fuerteventura and 2007 saw a huge rise in the number of people visiting La Graciosa via the Orzola ferry - almost 250,000 people made the trip compared to 16,000 in 1998. This reinforces the belief that tourists are now travelling and exploring much more of the island than previously.
At the end of 2007, there were 120,000 vehicles and nearly 4,000 motorcycles registered for the road, almost one per person of population - this has doubled since 1996.
There are 407 taxis on the island, with half registered in Arrecife and Tias. Taxis can only collect fares from their own area, which is why even an empty Arrecife taxi will not answer a hail in Puerto del Carmen, for example.
Nearly 12,000 new cars were registered in 2007, with a third being in the Tias area. Just 57 were registered in Haria.
There were 235 road accidents in 2007, with a total of ten fatalities. Considering the on going debate about driving standards on the island, those figures seem low to me.
And that wraps up our little excursion into the world of Cabildo statistics for this year - I hope you have enjoyed our summary. It's certainly more interesting than the massive document from which the information came!