Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands
; it is also the most populated island of Spain
, with a land area of 2,034.38 km sq (785.47 mi sq) and 898,680 inhabitants, 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the most of any Canary Islands. Tenerife hosts one of the World
's largest carnivals and the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
is attempting to become a World Heritage Site. Tenerife is serviced by two airports, Tenerife North Airport and Tenerife South Airport, and is the tourism and economic centre of the archipelago.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of the island and the seat of the island council (cabildo insular). The city is capital of the autonomous community of Canary Islands (shared with Las Palmas), sharing governmental institutions such as Presidency and ministries. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands, until a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present.
Tourism is the most prominent industry in the Canaries, which are one of the major tourist destinations in the world.Tourism is more prevalent in the south of the island, which is hotter and drier and has many well developed resorts such as Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos
. More recently coastal development has spread northwards from Playa de las Americas and now encompasses the former small enclave of La Caleta
(a favoured place for naturist tourists). After the Moratoria act passed by the Canarian Parliament in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, no more hotels should be built on the island unless they are classified as 5 star-quality and comprise different services such as Golf Courses or Congress facilities.