Archive for December 6, 2010

While researching for the news round up for Tenerife Magazine I came across a couple of interesting snippets.

The first was that pharmacies on Tenerife were completely doing away with paper communication between themselves and colleges. All updates and information about new drugs, procedures etc were going to be done purely electronically. It’s a modern and efficient way of communicating – great.

Another snippet that caught my eye was about tourist statistics. The Tenerife government released figures that showed that 8 out of 10 people had booked their Tenerife holiday online. 8 out of 10. That’s quite a staggering figure.

So what’s the connection between these two groups? The answer is wildly opposing practices on Tenerife.

Tenerife’s pharmaceutical profession by its very nature has to stay at the forefront of technology, but there’s a reason why the news piece about them caught my eye. It’s not consistent with the way that other occupational sectors on the island are embracing the internet.

You’d think that bars, restaurants and anyone at all trying to attract the attention of the millions of visitors to Tenerife would have long ago woken up to what was staring them in the face – that the internet might just be their best friend,. But many are working almost as though they exist in a stand-alone cottage industry.

Recently Andy compiled information about restaurants for travel website Simonseeks. Even though we’ve already accumulated mountains of information about Tenerife’s restaurants over the years, details change. But trying to find updated info without actually visiting restaurants again can be a nightmare. Many still don’t have websites; some don’t even have phone numbers. In businesses which rely on income from tourists this is almost retarded. At least one restaurateur smugly commented that they didn’t need a website; all their business was word of mouth. That way of thinking is beyond comprehension. Even in the midst of an economic crisis they just won’t open their eyes.

But if some restaurants are backward, some bars are positively Stone Age. I recently read a letter from a British bar owner in Puerto de la Cruz in one of the English language papers. He bemoaned his lack of clients and listed what action he felt should be taken to bring tourists back to Puerto and his bar. There was nothing wrong with his list…if he’d written it in 1984. At no point did he mention using the internet or social media. It simply did not enter his consciousness to have an online presence and his bar is not in an obvious spot in the town.

The reason that I mentioned the number of people booking Tenerife holidays online is how many of those 8 out of 10 people are visiting Tenerife for the first time and have decided what bars they were going to drink in and where they were going to eat long before they ever set foot on Tenerife? What’s sure is that the bars and restaurants in the resorts without any online presence are in danger of being overlooked. For them not to have a web presence seems positively suicidal.

But here are a final couple of points that seem blindingly obvious to me, but clearly not to bar, restaurant and shop owners who continue to plough what little advertising money they have into newspapers on Tenerife.

The people reading those papers are already on Tenerife. By the time a visitor sees an advert for what looks like a nice bar, or a good restaurant, their holiday may be all but over. But that’s not the only reason why I personally think advertising in them is money down the drain. One of the English language papers on Tenerife has currently 15 pages out of around 52 which are dedicated to what’s on British TV.

Nearly a third of the paper dedicated to British TV listings. As Tenerife’s hotels don’t have ITV, BBC etc, these pages can’t be aimed at visitors staying in hotels. Therefore it would appear that they’re for the benefit of ex-pat residents. If that’s who businesses are aiming their adverts at, then fair enough.

But if not, then these businesses really have slept in. The coffee stewed long ago.

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