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Santa Cruz, a gastronomic destination that enchants tourists

The capital of Tenerife concentrates the largest number of bars and cafes on the island and has more than 290 restaurants where you can enjoy cuisines from all over the world.

The city is the second most visited place by the 2.3 million tourists that Tenerife receives each year and gastronomy is one of the main motivations for their trip.

Gastronomy is one of the main tourist attractions of Santa Cruz. This is corroborated by the thousands of tourists who visit the city every day and take the opportunity to enjoy the good weather on one of its terraces or make a stop at one of its restaurants to explore the local identity by savoring the Canarian cuisine or betting on the originality of multiple thematic proposals from all corners of the world.

During the last year, around 2.3 million tourists stayed in hotel and non-hotel establishments in Tenerife. Santa Cruz was the second most visited place on the island, only behind the Teide National Park, and gastronomy, one of the main reasons for the trip, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism of the Government of the Canary Islands. In addition, the capital is the main destination in the Canary Islands traveler segment. The municipality doubles the number of stays of islanders registered by Adeje and triples those of Arona. Undoubtedly, these figures are not only motivated by the search for a leisure offer, but also by travel for work, study or health reasons, all of which play in favor of the capital.

Of the total number of tourists that Tenerife receives throughout the year, 9% stay in Santa Cruz. Three out of ten of these guests are foreigners, mostly Germans. Of the other six, three are from the Canary Islands and three come from other autonomous communities. On average, they spend 120 euros per day and stay 9 days. Unlike the sun and beach towns in the south, where most tourists seek relaxation and are seduced by the comfort and price of the all-inclusive service, in Santa Cruz 90% of stays only include breakfast. This provides a huge business opportunity for the city’s hospitality industry, as an average of 5,000 tourists hungry for gastronomic experiences for lunch and dinner join local diners every day.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the kilometer zero of a tourist island that was hit hard by the pandemic but has managed to recover in this first half of the year the strength it had in 2019, when it received 2,518,417 tourists. These are broken down into the following segments: 232,762 persons staying in Santa Cruz; 1,796,446 excursionists from other tourist areas of the island; and 489,208 cruise ship passengers. The Santa Cruz City Council estimates that the total expenditure of such tourists, in 2019, was 111 million euros, generating in the city 16,543 jobs related to tourism activities.

The hotel and catering offer with which the city welcomes visitors is one of the most diverse and attractive on the island. This is confirmed by the fact that Santa Cruz is the municipality with the most bars and cafés in the entire western province and that its restaurants boast all kinds of awards in the form of Repsol suns, recommendations from the Michelin guide and prizes for establishments, chefs, pastry chefs and professional chefs such as those of the Salón Gastrocanarias, the Madrid Fusión congress, the dean of Diario de Avisos, the guide Qué Bueno! Canary Islands and many more.

Some of its premises are as picturesque as the kiosks of the central squares El Príncipe or Weyler; emblematic as the Viva María, with its refreshing milkshakes; classics as La Garriga and El Imperial with its sandwiches, and there are even those turned into axis of the social life of the city as the renewed Atlantis, located in the first floor of the Casino of Tenerife.

It is very likely that at the bar of one of its 957 bars or at the table of one of its 259 restaurants you will come across a tourist enjoying, for example, the exoticism of a bar or a dish that will add flavor to his or her memories of the trip. The Tourism area of the Canary Islands Executive analyzed the value given by visitors to this type of gastronomic experience. The reputation study, which was published in 2018, showed that tourists came to the Archipelago with a very relative interest in the pleasures of fine dining. Only 15% showed concerns about the catering offer at the planning stage of their trip. However, at the end of their stay, the evaluation of the local cuisine reached a remarkable 8.5 out of 10, and more than half of the visitors became prescribers of the island restaurants, especially those in the haute cuisine segment. Specifically, 48% of domestic tourists and 58% of foreign tourists admit that gastronomy is one of the reasons why it is worth coming to the Canary Islands.

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