42 Answers

Is AI killing the facilities in CT ?

Asked by: 18th June 2013

Just back fro CT and worried that the continual growth of AI is forcing more and more of the local restaurants and bars to close.

The AI people expect there to be local shops for them to peruse, local restaurants to eat in when they get fed up with their boring hotel meals, and local bars to drink in when they get bored with their second rate entertainment.

They might soon find a a ghost town as their lack of local spending causes more and more places to close.

Examples being the ‘Inn Place’ on the front where there are 4 units in a row closed. Also Scots and Wry closed, reopened as Olive’s, closed again and reopened as Jake’s all in 12 months.

I love the place so am I worrying needlessly ?


42 Answers

  1. david charles hind on Jun 19, 2013

    AI is the future i am afraid,remember when the large supermarkets in the UK started moving outside towns to serve car owners,the high street died.AI is going to ruin places like Costa Teguise,people who live on takeaways and burgers don”t really care about quality,alcoholics love the free drinks(in plastic tumblers)as long as they can get drunk.I despise AI :0( grrrrrrrh

  2. Joe Strummer on Jun 19, 2013

    Tricky one but it is also concerning me. Admittedly – we only tend to visit in January but like you have grown to love this place for our winter break – when we can afford it !! (just booked flights for January coming !!)

    AI is not for me – there are so many great restaurants and tapas bars and pubs to try CT and our preferred night out – is a nice meal, bottle of wine and then onto a pub. – However, a workmate is going in July and is AI – he has two kidz (12 and 9) so for him – drinks and snacks or ice cream etc – its a no brainer.

    Speaking to some of the bar owners in particular – its a year to year existence but they all love the place and that’s why they do it – its a better place to work

    My own solution and I stress own solution – which will never be adopted would be to limit the number of AI spaces a hotel can allocate or limit the times they can sell it – I know it will never happen though.

    All I can suggest is that those of us who do like AI continue to do what we are doing to support the bars and restaurants of CT

  3. Paul D on Jun 19, 2013

    I agree with Joe,

    It is a tricky scenario for everyone to deal with who has a business on the island that is dependant on tourists spending their money.

    AI has been around for years in different guises, however it really comes to the fore in times of recession and a deflated market place. . The fact that we are in a prolonged period of economic downturn has just made it so much more difficult for everyone concerned. For some hotels its the difference between having full occupancy and staying in business or going bust which isnt good for any of us punters as it reduces the various hotel choices available.

    Personally , AI isn’t for me as i like to holiday in a Villa and eat out and i spose this brings me to my point that there is room for AI amongst the many self catering appartments and Villas which are also large in numbers on the island. . To this end , , local restaurants and shops will carry on being supported in my view . .

    I also dont think you can pidgeon hole anyone who uses AI options either. . .For the large family with 3 or 4 children it is a god send and allows them all to have a holiday. . On the other hand , ive a friend whos landed on the island at lunchtime today who are going to an AI Hotel in Playa Blanca basically because they just think its great value for money . They arnt a couple who live on burgers and chips or swig as much beer and spirits as they can get ,,They are a reitired couple looking for good value for money..
    You could be a beer swilling junk food eating person and stop in any type of accomodation on the island. …That type of person Is not excusive to “all inclusive ” venues,,,,lol Its just who they are anyway !..

    So anyway ,,AI is here. . has always been here,,and will continue to do so , , , just as The Villas and self catering hotels and aparthotels will be ,,, It will just alter its balance as the worldwide economy improves.

    Thats my take on it anyway.

  4. david charles hind on Jun 19, 2013

    I agree partly with joe,but the excuse that free ice creams and drinks for kiddies is a good reason to go AI,i do not agree.kiddies will learn little if stuck in hotels living on junk food and fizzy drinks,save a bit extra for your holiday and take them out to explore .They will learn more about people and places,and grow up to be better people!!

    • miles on Jun 28, 2013

      Well said!

  5. Tom Iles on Jun 19, 2013

    I just don’t understand what people do in the AI establishments. Do they lie around the pools all day drinking beer out of plastic glasses? Ok for a day or two, but for two weeks?They might as well be dropped into the middle of the Sahara desert for all the local sightseeing they are going to do. Costa Teguise is a great place but it needs tourists to visit the bars and restaurants to keep them going.

  6. Stephen Andrew Mallon on Jun 20, 2013

    We go 4 or 5 times a year and for us it is self catering as we are a couple who just dont like to be told when we can have our next meal. Totally agree if you are a family of 4 or 5 then maybe AI is the best thing with little ones in tow but I also find a lot of these people eating out after a couple of days because the Hotel food is so bland. Dont get me wrong when ours were little we did the AI all over Europe as it was the cheaper option but now they have gone we like the little bit of extra quality we get by visiting CG bars and restaurants and it is so cheap. Friend of mine went to Blackpool in March and in total spent nearly £2000 for a family of 5 for a week! We took our Daughter and 2 Grandchildren to CG the same week and spent £1300 for flights ACC and eating and drinking. We had a lovely sunny week they had rain for the week.

  7. David myers on Jun 20, 2013

    In reply to D C hind I agree that A.I. could have an effect on CT or any other resort but when you state people who live on takeaways and burgers surely these people would be buying this type of food in places like CT A.I. don’t serve takeaways or am I missing something ? and when reading answers on this site lots of people tell you of lots of different bars they visit in CT does this make them alcoholics like A,I. visitors I don’t think so
    The truth is all resorts will need to compete with A.I. and its the resorts who must respond

  8. steve on Jun 20, 2013

    Hi David,do you not think Costa is trying to compete with AI,it is one of the lowest priced resorts around.Unfortunately, it is difficult to compete with 200.00 pound AI holidays,especially when sc is priced at a higher rate!

    I would appreciate any suggestions as to how combat this, that is sensible, not already been tried and above all, financially viable.I look forward to your suggestions.

  9. David myers on Jun 20, 2013

    Steve its not up to us to come up with the answers
    Just look at Stephens reply how have Blackpool managed to take £2000 off a family of five
    Not many years back places like Blackpool were suffering due to families holidaying abroad yet someone as spent £2000 there why not CT or PDC
    Maybe its because Blackpool as fought back I don’t know
    I feel the resorts must do more its there business not ours

  10. steve on Jun 20, 2013

    I did not ask you to come up with answers, i merely asked for suggestions.

    Blackpool was suffering because it was too expensive – it still is judging by the statement!Business has increased there on the back of stag and hen do´s and the local people do not like it! Blackpool has also had a vast amount of money invested in it – something Costa has not.Why? I do not know!

    Please elaborate on how we should do more rather than sitting on the fence,

  11. David myers on Jun 20, 2013

    The point is Steve YOU and I cant do anything to solve the problem
    The problem seems to be growing by holiday makers wanting A.I.
    Just for the record I have been to Lanzarote about 25 times and never stayed A.I.
    In there favour the resorts do get a 12 month season lots of other resorts don’t have the same luxury
    I was in P.B in March and it was buzzing with people and they have lots of A.I. but when I visited C.T. it was really quiet
    I feel there is no answer

  12. steve on Jun 20, 2013

    Ok so your original point of the resorts needing to compete and respond was not what you really meant? You really meant that there is no answer to the problem?

    Currently holidaymakers choose AI because it is being marketed very cheap not because it is there preferred holiday of choice. Thomson stated last November that online search demand for AI had fallen by 35% amongst the British market.It is being sold cheap because they need to fill the beds they have already bought as that where they have invested the most money.

    Just for the record, i live here and have a business.

  13. David myers on Jun 20, 2013

    My first point was regards takeaways not being something you get from A.I. and not all people using A.I. are alcoholics
    Your quoting very cheap A.I. I have stayed in A.I. in other countries and also checked there prices in PB and I can assure you they aint cheap so maybe this is something affecting CT more than elsewhere
    If the beds are being sold cheap is this what needs to happen to self catering beds to compete this maybe the answer

  14. steve on Jun 20, 2013

    Yes your assumption is correct what is needed to reduce the problem.AI will never go away, we all know that but some sensibility in price needs to be done.

    • Paul D on Jun 21, 2013

      Morning Steve / David..
      Have been reading your posts with interest.. .The whole AI thing is all about filling beds as Steve says. . It gets a bit mind boggling when you realise that quite often the prices per person just about covers the flights , let alone the accomodation and free food /drinks once there. . There has to be some kind of subsidisation process going on from the big holiday companies to the hotels for it all to happen i would think. .

      Big companies like Thomsons have a wide range of holiday products that they offer. . From the cheap and cheerful through to their “Couples or Platinum Gold” offers which are very lucrative for them. . . Im wondering if they internally use the AI offer .. (In many countries ) as a lost leader, basically giving those holidays away to fill rooms.

      If the scenario above is happening , then it is very difficult to combat i would think as it is such a big powerful entity in respect of how its funded. I was going to suggest that maybe the whole AI offer can not be sustained for-ever by these big companies as at some point, surely they need to get back to making some decent margins etc ? . . but on second thoughts if these companies have huge rescources then it could go on for some time yet.

      Some hotels have not signed up entirely 100% to AI , but offer it… Some of the Ibero branded hotels offer , , Full Board / Half Board and AI as an option. . . I think the hotel owners know that for long term profitability , , AI isnt good for their business. . Im wondering if for some of them , its a here and now solution to low occupancy maybe ? At some point it has to revert back to some kind of sensibility surely.

      Im stuck for suggestions as to how we combat things as individuals. . Everyone who holidays self catering or in Villas should support the local restaurants / supermarkets and then avoid going for a drink at a hotel bar which is attached or connected with a known AI resort maybe ?

      I think someone suggested lower priced self catering options as a way to even the odds , , but i think thats maybe a mistake as all that could happen there is that the big boys will reduce the cost further of AI in responce . . . It would just fuel the fire.

      Maybe its just a case of being patient and waiting for the economy to pick up , because as soon as that happens , , there wont be a need for AI to happen on the scale it is at the moment and itl reduce. . . Its most likely all down to market forces which we have no control over.

  15. david charles hind on Jun 21, 2013

    Around £25 a night self catering in costa teguise is very cheap,i remember paying more than that for b&b in the UK in the seventies,cost of flights are now becoming a bigger problem,so far looks like they may cost £100 more this year :0(

  16. Joe Strummer on Jun 21, 2013

    Agreed David – we have booked flights for January and are looking for town centre self catering – the prices are very reasonable.

    Steve – if this is who I think it is – just try to keep going mate – I know you and your Mrs love the island and town and its easy for us holidaymakers to offer opinions etc BUT this is your livliehood and it must be so worrying and frustrating.

    I am afraid my solutions have no prospect of being adopted as the big holiday companies have nothing to gain from it and hold too much power.

    Is there any reaction in the local media about businesses closing ?

  17. Tom Iles on Jun 21, 2013

    Thank you for your comments Paul, you have provided some interesting info. It won’t suit the tour operators if CT becomes a ghost town. People on AI still want to go out and see the sights. Hopefully they will realise this and actually encourage people to leave the complexes sometimes. I agree with dch that self catering in CT is really cheap compared to some areas. However, you can still get cheap flights. I am coming out in November for £84 but it is the school holidays which are the problem.

  18. steve on Jun 21, 2013

    Paul, what you say is spot on and the fact that Thomas Cook are not making a profit suggests that there just is not the profit in AI.More and more people are tiring of AI here but for the ones that come out because of the poor quality of holiday then there are many more who do not come out and swear never to come here again because of how rubbish Lanzarote is!

    I know Tomson consider it a short term option because i wrote to them last year and i was told that it would revert back in time – just how long this will be – who knows?

    Unfortunately, the standard of AI customer coming to CT has dropped alarmingly and some of our regular AI customers are complaining about how bad these people are acting and how ignorant they behave to their childrens actions!

    Joe, not sure who you are but i do hope to see you again in January!

    • Paul D on Jun 21, 2013

      Hi ,,Me again ..

      Been doing a little bit of searching around the net and found this article..


      If anyone needs confirmation of how badly AI affects local business’s etc etc you only have to read this. . Quite frightening really and its a worldwide problem in many holiday resorts

  19. Frank on Jun 21, 2013

    Well my question really did stir up some reaction.

    I’m struck that although there is some disagreement in all the comments, there is generally a lack of comments defending the AI holiday. Having experienced AI once I certainly wouldn’t want to again.

    For me I think something needs to be done but confess I don’t know what. As a recent example, on holiday I met a couple while I was having a coffee in one of the sea front bars in CT and invited them to join me. They declined saying that they were staying AI, out for a walk and that they did not spend any money outside the complex on drink or food. How sad.

    I do fear that this seems to be becoming more common and that more bars and restaurants seem to be closing and are up for sale.

    Maybe the fad will change and we’ll all be saved. I can remember when Butlin’s and Pontin’s used to be the place to go. Pay your holiday up front and all your food, accommodation and entertainment was included. You did have to pay for drink however and eventually more and more of the extras became chargeable, go-carts, snooker, swimming and so on. Then the thing to do changed and this type of holiday became less and less fashionable. Many of these parks are now defunct or have been converted to caravan sites.

    I personally hope the AI places go the same way.

  20. David myers on Jun 21, 2013

    Paul just read your reply and I am just wondering where these cheap A.I. are that just cover the cost of the flight the few I have been on were fairly expensive
    Also you mention when staying in self catering you should support the local restaurants which is what I have always done but I know of lots of people who never spend anything in the bars and restaurants choosing to slog it out in the villa or wherever there staying and trying to convince its great cooking in 30 degrees
    These people only buy from the super markets food and cheap drinks which wont help bars and restaurants, they are no better than A.I.

  21. Paul D on Jun 21, 2013

    Hi David , , I take your point. . .

    I think the prices are all relative to the actual Hotel. . Your going to get low priced AI offers on a Hotel which is rated 3 star for example and higher priced deals on Hotels of a better standard. . .If all the offers were “Fairly Expensive” as you say then AI would actually not be a problem at all ! . . Truth is ,,it is a problem mainly because the amount of AI deals is escalating , and like i said earlier ALL types of holiday offers/accomodation have their place ,,,Its a choice people make based on what is on offer for that resort.

    I also just don’t believe that anyone staying in Villas or Self Catering never venture out into the local town whilst on holiday … . . However,,If some dont ,,then surely thats up to them …. .And if people in villas are buying groceries from supermarkets and local shops. . . be it low priced goods or what-ever , , isnt that supporting local business anyway ? ? ?. . .

    People make their own choices on how they want to holiday. .I enjoy a meal out and i love the atmosphere around the various resorts in the evening. . I have always stayed self catering in appartments or villas for years…and ive always visited bars and restaurants . . .If someone wants to do the hotels full board ,,,Does that mean they don’t want to eat out at a restaurant or visit a bar on the odd night ?,,,i doubt it very much..

    Its very easy for us to sit back and stereotype people who use AI as a choice ,,,or Villas or Hotels as a choice… ( which is wrong by the way as we shouldnt judge ) however what this is really about is the holiday companies escalating AI offers so that the balance disadvantages the local business and de-values the whole resort.

    If theres a people element to all this , , Its not the tourist on holiday , , Its most likely some executive in a suit sat at his desk in Head Office at Thomas Cook / Thomsons / First Choice etc who is puling the strings on how we buy holidays !

  22. Barry Dunne on Jun 22, 2013

    This is a great debate with some very informative answers. I can only say my own experiences. I have been coming to the Canaries for the last 20 Years and can remember drinking in Irish bars with used to be jampacked, now they are only half full.

    We stay self catering, eat out twice a week but go out every night. Last May we would stroll around some of the big AI Hotels and frankly there would be more people around the pools than you would see on the Beach. They just do not want to leave the Hotel.

  23. David myers on Jun 22, 2013

    Barry I am not defending A.I. but if you do an evening in an Irish bar and you like a drink the bill can be a shock at the end of the night.
    Maybe the pools have more people round them due to the high cost of sun beds on the beach more so if there is a family of 4
    If the prices were lower would this not encourage the families back to the beach as I said previously its also up to the resorts to compete ( people want value )

  24. Frank on Jun 22, 2013

    David the question really is do we believe in the law of the jungle or should there be rules for the benefit of the common good. Do we believe in letting the strong survive and killing off the weak. Do we believe in certain standards or do we believe in anarchy.

    Fortunately we’ve moved from the times when anything goes and if someone else suffers then so what. We live in a civilised society where we have certain rules and regulations so that a balance can be struck. Take the example of building a house. In ancient times you built whever you wanted and fought off anyone who didn’t like it or wanted to take it from you. Now we have controls so that someone building something has to take consideration on the effect of others. We elect representatives to strike the right balance for us.

    Turning to the AI question should we let things settle themselves and to hang with the consequences or should some authority be laying down some rules and controls for the common good. In my view the former is leading to more and more small businesses closing down which could lead to there being two types of extreme resort. One where there are exclusively AI hotels like in some parts of the Caribbean . The other where a local council ban them and Self Catering and ‘normal’ hotel accomodation thrives.

    I’d prefer to holiday in a resort which has a balance of both. For this to happen I believe the local authorities may well have to step in to prevent one destroying the other.

    David think of the poor red squirrel. Following your advice left to nature it has almost become extinct with the introduction of it’s larger more powerful grey competitor.

    Makes you think ?

  25. David myers on Jun 22, 2013

    So if the resorts competed with the A.I. would this not give you what you prefer ?
    I think it would

  26. steve on Jun 22, 2013

    David, the resort cannot compete with AI.Just over 200.00 pounds a week for AI on a last minute deal as opposed to nearer 300 on sc. The tour operators are only bothered about occupancy and do not care about locals, full stop.If this was the case there would not be 37% unemployment in the canaries, with over 4000 people in the hotel industry.Staff cuts are made to accommodate the product and the government say they are powerless to do anything because we are part of the EU and it is freedom of trade.

    It always concerns me that a British government that says it is bothered about the welfare of its people and the cost obesity has on its health care system, yet they allow the holiday companies to encourage binge drinking and eating – without having to worry about any additional cost.The age old argument about it been better for families just does not wash – who allows there children to have unlimited pop and ice cream and not worry that they will not eat anything else all holiday because they do not like it!

    i worry about seeing old age pensioners wondering around with their wristbands on – what benefit does an 80 year old get from it and why were they advised to do it? Holiday company greed and lies.

  27. david charles hind on Jun 22, 2013

    I”m with steve 100%,AI is a blight on the the Canary Islands.

  28. david charles hind on Jun 22, 2013

    ps steve,I paid €283 for 10 nights SC with sea view at the galeon playa.

  29. Paul D on Jun 23, 2013

    Excuse me for contributing at 4.30am in the morning , , Just back from a gig in South Wales and wanted to put in my two penneth to this fascinating debate yet again ..

    Just reading Franks last response. . . Maybe he is right about local goverment/councils taking some sort of action and doing more to change the field of play. . After all,,,Its their Island and they have a duty to represent local business’s and interests..

    Im wondering if they could in fact introduce a levy or tax or some kind of fee that is aimed at the large holiday companies who offer AI on the island ? And make it specific to AI only. . The fee would have to be enough to sting the Thomsons /First Choices’s of this world and deter them away from offering low priced AI deals. . . It is maybe a way to re-balance the scenario ?

    It would certainly have to be somthing which affected the holiday companies in their pockets who are offering low priced AI . .

    Just an idea..

    Right ,,My bed calls !

  30. David myers on Jun 23, 2013

    Nice one Paul at least your coming up with suggestions instead of telling everyone how cheap A.I. are (hope you enjoyed your gig)

  31. jason on Jun 23, 2013

    I read all this……we go to costa teguise twice a year as we have a villa there and it does seem that many places are closing down. I do think AI is killing the area so they should be made to pay by tax or made to put back into the community somehow. As for the argument that kids can have as many ice creams and soft drinks as they want in AI…..my argument is don’t they understand the word No ??? I have 3 kids and I don’t let them have unlimited ice creams or drinks all day free or not. I guess AI still want to sell trips out for the day ??? There are many lovely restaurants in costa teguise and bars and I will keep using them when im there.

  32. David myers on Jun 23, 2013

    I was not being nasty when I said stop telling everyone how cheap A.I.are but every time someone states the price they are available for its like a free advertisement for them if you know what I mean

  33. Joe Strummer on Jun 25, 2013

    That’s where I thought the suggestion of limiting the number of AI holidays (in one hotel/resort) they can sell might work – in some ways but the Holiday companies would never agree.

    Spoke to someone who was on one last year with FC – and not in Lanzarote) and they told me they were “badgered” daily at the pool area to buy trips !!!! so I agree with that point Jason – but not the point youmake re kids with drinks and ice cream – my comment there has been interpreted at the extreme end – my work mate simply said a couple of ice creams and 3/4 drinks during the day for the kids – at the cost of his overall AI holiday – when he facatored in what he would spend eating out, drinks for him, the Mrs and the kids it made financial sense to him – although he accepted the limitations that placed on his holiday.

    I guess there is no solution that will appease everybody here – as David astutely points out – some people on a villa style holiday never eat or drink out either

  34. fast eddie on Jun 26, 2013

    Interesting to note that the reported drop in online bookings for AI is partially offset by growth for AI cruises. Maybe alleviates the cabin fever syndrome a little?

    I think AI should be limited to 4 star and above hotels, the cheaper apartments that do AI generally do it very poorly.

  35. david charles hind on Jun 27, 2013

    Spot on eddie,a friend just back from mexico where he stayed AI,fab food(6 dif fresh cooked food choice)lobster some days etc,they know how to do AI.i went to dom republic ,same there.Once i stayed in AI on first visit to CT,a disaster,escaped after 3 days.

  36. david charles hind on Jun 27, 2013

    Another thought,if you book two weeks all inclusive and you find the food is terrible,do you put up with it,or leg it back home.??
    as the saying goes,don”t put all your eggs in one basket

  37. David myers on Jun 27, 2013

    That could apply to SC

    Not as clean as expected
    Noisy neighbours
    Poor cooking facilities
    Dirty bathroom
    The list could be endless

  38. david charles hind on Jun 27, 2013

    true dave,but then i have the freedom to move quickly to somewhere better

  39. David myers on Jun 27, 2013

    But the same applies in A.I. they can not stop you moving