Could volcano tourism boost ravaged La Palma?

UPSOT: “Ladies/gentleman, we’re going this way."

Could disaster tourism help rebuild La Palma?

Last year’s devastating volcanic eruption on the Spanish island may have a silver lining for one of the country’s poorest areas.

Demand for volcano-themed tours there has soared as tourists flock to see for themselves the aftermath of an eruption that lasted 85 days.

For tour company Get Holiday, that runs 11-hour trips around the volcano from nearby Tenerife, business is already booming.

Company founder, Basso Lanzone.

“For me it's like gold. It's a golden future because a lot of people ask to discover La Palma at the moment."

As the least visited of Spain’s tourism-dependent Canary Islands, around 30 people visited a week from Tenerife for a general tour last year.

Post-eruption that figure has now risen five-fold to 150.

"Maybe it will be good for the local people to start a new opportunity for the tourism."

Spain's government announced last week a 9.5-million-euro ($10.85 million) plan to promote local tourism after arrivals more than halved in the last four months of 2021.

The head of La Palma’a local government believes the interest in the eruption could help the island diversify from agriculture.

"It is an exciting road to take advantage of the opportunities the volcano leaves despite so much destruction and one of them is tourism."

But authorities say any vision to develop the industry based on the volcano must be sensitively managed.

Something German tourist Ulrike Wenen is aware of.

Although the volcano has stopped, the fire, it is very impressing. I think if it is ok for the people who lives here, it's the most important thing, then it's ideal to see it."

Although no fatalities were recorded, the volcano, which began erupting in September destroyed over 3,000 buildings and displaced 7,000 residents.