Gran Canaria shopping centres are “an ode to neglect”

by Lorraine Williamson
San Bartolomé de Tirajana shopping centres

SAN BARTOLOMé – Obsolete shopping centres are a major problem in the tourist destination of San Bartolomé de Tirajana/Maspalomas (Gran Canaria). Last autumn, the island government already pointed to the impoverished condition in which some centres find themselves. 

Several parties, including the Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurs of Las Palmas and some professionals, have again called for action by the competent authorities. The current situation in southern Gran Canaria has been described as “an ode to neglect”. That is why there are calls to “revolutionise the entire entertainment industry in the South”. 

Also read: Gran Canaria threatens with a wrecking ball for commercial centres in Playa del Ingles 

Modernization and improvement are urgent need 

Now, at the request of Tourism Gran Canaria (Cabildo de Gran Canaria), the Chamber of Commerce of Gran Canaria has presented a list of necessary interventions for the shopping centres. In their report on the renovation and modernisation of shopping centres in tourist areas of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, they emphasise the need to act “in response to the decline of shopping centres” in the municipality. Moreover, it is urgently necessary to modernise and improve an important part of them. 

Eight very outdated centres 

There are 26 shopping centres in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, and the report focuses on the 8 most “outdated” ones which are:

  • Kasbah
  • Plaza
  • Metro
  • Anexo II
  • Oasis
  • Cita
  • Parque Europa
  • Faro II

The proposed improvements are not only about renovation and modernisation of the facilities but in some cases it is even recommended to demolish and rebuild the complex. At the beginning of this year, Kasbah announced that there were investors interested in modernising the centre. 

Obstacles to modernisation 

However, the report points to numerous obstacles to modernisation, such as owner fragmentation, loss of income during renovation periods and bureaucratic hurdles. Santiago de Armas, President of the Chamber’s Tourism Committee, stressed that the modernisation and improvement of the shopping centres in the south of the island are essential to keep the destination relevant in a constantly evolving commercial environment. “There must be a serious political commitment to carry out these projects. Furthermore, there must be a consensus between the various administrations and the private sector,” he said. 

Diagnose the situation 

In turn, the author of the report, Antonio Garzón, pointed out that this report is a diagnosis of the situation that reflects a series of concrete actions, “because shopping centres should not be treated in isolation. After all, they are not just the sum of commercial properties. Each centre wants to adapt to segments such as youth, and the “silver client”. 

Offering diverse experiences 

It has therefore been established how important it is to provide each shopping centre with an exclusive offer that differentiates it and makes it attractive to different types of consumers. It is clear that in an increasingly competitive market, it is very important to offer unique experiences and products.” 

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