Spanish tourism chiefs have launched a new pilot scheme in Lanzarote.  The scheme is designed to offer holiday makers a warmer welcome and a smile – as the island – and country as a whole – struggles to cope with falling tourist numbers.

Shopkeepers, hotel receptionists and taxi drivers will all be attending seminars. Where they will be encouraged to learn some basic English phrases – such as “Have a nice day” and brush up on their local knowledge.

According to a member of Lanzarote’s Chamber of Commerce: “A smile costs nothing and is the most effective welcome.  We’re aware that Spaniards are not seen as overly friendly by British holidaymakers and we want to change that grumpy image. If we want British tourists to keep coming back year after year, and encouraging their friends to visit, we must be cheerier and friendlier to them.”