With its fantastic climate, Tenerife is one of the sunniest places in the world which is just one of the reasons why millions of tourists visit every year. On top of that, there are the great beaches, exciting places to visit and excellent hotels, making this the number one choice for holidaymakers looking to escape from everyday life for a while. Consequently, tourism is the largest industry on the island and accounts for millions of Euros coming into the economy every year.
Agriculture has long been the economic mainstay of the Canaries. Wine from vines grown on un-irrigated slopes formed the staple product until 1853. In that year a grape plant louse disease attacked the vineyards and viticulture was soon largely replaced by cochineal production.
The cochineal industry declined (owing to competition from synthetic dyes) in the late 19th century and was replaced by the cultivation of bananas, tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables and fruits. Bananas, which are still the Canaries' leading crop, are protected in the Spanish market against foreign competition. It’s impossible to drive around the island without seeing some bananas growing. Tomatoes are grown between November and April for export and the cultivation of flowers and plants is a new industry.