The Canary Islands: The Islands of Extraordinary People

The Canary Islands have launched a new campaign in collaboration with world-famous athletes, Marcell Jacobs, Patrick Lange and Pau Capell, to promote the archipelago as an ideal destination for sports training and to continue attracting professional sportsmen and women from Europe.

The archipelago has all the necessary conditions to train for optimum performance.

Every year, the Canary Islands becomes home to some of the world’s leading sportsmen and women, who arrive to maximize their performance by training outdoors and in specialized sports facilities at times of the year when weather conditions are less favorable where they normally train.

To encourage even more athletes to take train in the archipelago, the Minister for Tourism, Industry and Trade recently launched “The Islands of Extraordinary People”, through Canary Islands Tourism. This international campaign stars some of the world’s top athletes who are preparing for their respective events on the Islands. Marcell Jacobs, Olympic champion in the 100-meter dash, two-time Ironman world champion Patrick Lange and Pau Capell, one of the biggest trail running stars, are some of the key participants in this new campaign.

The campaign focuses specifically on athletics, swimming, trail-running, cycling, triathlon and beach volleyball. Other sports related to wind and waves will also be targeted such as sailing, windsurfing, surfing and bodyboarding. Specific areas on the Islands have been assigned for different sports and will have representatives of the campaign stationed at each one. Yaiza Castilla, Minister for Tourism, Industry and Trade of the Government of the Canary Islands said:

 “This is a 100% digital campaign, which will allow us to target specific audiences according to their sporting discipline. We are going to address athletes who are looking for somewhere to train and remind them that in the Canary Islands, they can do it all year round thanks to the climate, its specialized facilities and its modern accommodation capacity.”

Leading sports destination

The natural conditions of the Canary Islands make the archipelago the ideal location for professional training and active sports. Many elite athletes from all over the world choose the Canary Islands to carry out their training. Team Jumbo-Visma, Sifan Hassan, Sandra Sánchez, Adam Peaty, Liliana Fernández or Anders Mol and Christian Sørum established their training base for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the Canary Islands. And they were not the only ones. At some point in 2021, up to more than fifty Olympic medalists traveled to the Islands with their sights set on success in Tokyo.

The location of the Canary Islands, with 21 direct flights from European countries, allows athletes to reach the archipelago easily. The islands are home to 1,500 kilometers of coastline surrounded by volcanic waters rich in nutrients and suitable for thalassotherapy, which aid rapid recovery. There is also a wide range of facilities for high-level sportsmen and women.

The campaign’s strategy

The international campaign “The Islands of Extraordinary People” is designed to answer the questions that professional athletes and coaches and/or sports directors have when planning a sports training trip.

The campaign will use social media and platforms such as Eurosport, on its app and website, in Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom. The campaign is aimed at athletes that travel about five times a year with an average stay of 15 days per trip.

Of these athletes, 88% repeat destinations from one year to the next and 84% do so at least once in the same year together with their coaches, physical trainers and sports directors.

The strategy of this campaign is designed based on a recent study conducted by Canary Islands Tourism with 1,300 athletes and sports coaches from four of the target markets and from each of the disciplines included in the segment’s communication strategy.

The campaign, with an investment of 800,000 euros from REACT-EU funds, will be broadcasted during November and December in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain (except the Canary Islands), the Netherlands, Italy, and France.