The Canaries received 4,596,484 foreign visitors between January and July, 19.6% of whom came from the UK, and 9.62% from Germany, the Canarian Tourism Minister, Rita Martín, has announced. This means a loss of 812,000 tourists in the first seven months of 2009 compared with the same period of 2008, a reduction of 15.02%. Fuerteventura was the island which suffered the most, with a drop in visitor numbers of 19.06%, followed by Lanzarote, with a reduction of 18.19%. Tenerife had the lion’s share of holidaymakers, receiving 1,714,603 visitors, a drop of 13.72%, or 272,571 tourists, from the first seven months of 2008. Gran Canaria welcomedREAD MORE

A second person has died in the Canaries from AH1N1 flu, the pandemic that was originally known as Swine Flu. The deceased is a 30-year-old man who was admitted on 29 July to the Hospital Insular in Gran Canaria. The other death in the Canaries from the flu was also in Gran Canaria, a 41-year-old man who died on 9 July in the Doctor Negrín Hospital. This latest death brings to 10 the total of AH1N1 flu deaths in Spain, and in all cases except this last, the patients had underlying chronic illnesses. The latest victim is said, nonetheless, to have had “risk factors” whichREAD MORE

The Canaries heads the table for the greatest reduction in road traffic accident deaths in the whole of Europe, with a fall of 57% since 2003. Spain as whole saw a reduction in fatalities of 43% in the same period. The figures were given by the new regional head of Tráfico, Eva María Canitrot, and the Director General of Tráfico, Pere Navarro, who congratulated all drivers in the Canaries for their splendid achievement in reducing accidents and deaths on the islands’ roads. Sr Navarro recalled how the EU had set the challenge in 2001 of reducing road traffic accident deaths by half, and said thatREAD MORE

UPDATE 12 August: It seems that the man drowned. He had no papers on him, and has not yet been identified.  Diario de Avisos The body of a 50-year-old man has been found among some rocks on the beach at El Médano. Emergency services were alerted around 7am this morning and medical staff and police attended the scene, but could do no more than confirm the death of the man at the scene. The Guardia Civil has started an investigation. More information will be added when it becomes available.  Canarias24HorasREAD MORE

Despite three months of falling unemployment as posted HERE, the economic crisis has hit the self-employed in the Canaries hardest of all, with the loss of 25 self-employed jobs every day during the first seven months of 2009. In this period, 5,026 such individuals have been forced onto the dole in the islands to seek unemployment benefit. The archipelago, along with Valencia, is the front-running region nationally for self-employed job losses, and is expected to end the year with the dubious honour of being the area of Spain most adversely affected by the crisis. The main problems facing the region are the bursting of theREAD MORE

The Guardia Civil has arrested two Italian residents of Adeje for aggravated robbery in a Playa Paraiso supermarket on 4 August. The men, 43 and 46 years old, carried out their raid on the store around 9pm as it was about to close. Having tied up two employees and making them lie on the floor while threatening them with a knife, the thieves, wearing balaclavas, forced a third employee to open the safe, and made their getaway with €2,000 in cash. A customer who happened upon the crime was also tied up by the robbers. Thanks to the prompt and effective action of the GuardiaREAD MORE