Monday, February 18, 2013
Known as a land of “eternal spring”, Tenerife is a popular tourist destination with more than 1.3 million Britons visiting the paradise island each year.
Boasting year-round sunshine, it is favoured for its abundance of golden beaches and vibrant nightlife, attracting holidaymakers from all age groups.
The largest of the Canary Islands, which are located just off the north-west coast of Africa, Tenerife’s tourist industry is mainly located in the sunnier south of the island, where the popular resorts of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas lie.
Described as one of the most favoured tourist hotspots on the Canary Islands, Los Cristianos attracts older visitors with its artificial beaches and vast fishing harbour, from which pleasure cruises and diving excursions depart.
Spain attracts a large number of British expats every year and, while there is no official number of residents, up to a million are believed to live in the country at least part of the year.
Some opt to spend their retirement in the sun while others choose to invest in timeshare holiday homes, with many being hit by Spain’s recent economic woes and plummeting housing market.
Nosediving house prices aside, the holiday mecca has not been without its problems.
Its thriving timeshare trade, which sees hordes of Britons part with their money every year, is a multimillion-pound business which has attracted criminal gangs.
British couple Billy and Florence Robinson, who ran a timeshare business on the island, were found murdered in January 2006 by hitmen who police believed had been hired by rival operators.
In February 2010, Yorkshireman Peter Cockshutt, 71, was stabbed to death at his villa on the Costa del Silencio in what police described as a bungled robbery.
Going further back, in March 1977 the island suffered the world’s deadliest ever air disaster when two Boeing 747s collided at Los Rodeos airport, killing 583 people.