On the popular Spanish island of Tenerife, residents protested against the influx of tourists to the region. Demonstrators openly declared that they are not welcome to come there and urged them to leave. The presence of an excessive number of vacationers “destroys” the island, the population is sure.
According to the Canarian Weekly, the activists demanded to limit the flow of tourists to the island and introduce an environmental tax for travelers. Concerned people took to the streets of Tenerife, Spain, with posters saying “The Canary Islands are no longer a paradise” and “The Canary Islands are not for sale.”
About ten groups took part in the protest — all of them expressed dissatisfaction with mass tourism, which, in their opinion, causes “irreparable damage” to the island. In their opinion, the endless stream of vacationers is to blame for sewage spills, long-term traffic jams, and negative impacts on the environment. The protesters claimed that the current problems were caused by the construction of new hotel complexes in the coastal areas of southern Tenerife.
Statistical data from Statista shows that in 2019 alone, more than 5.5 million tourists visited Tenerife, of which about 3 million were foreigners, and Ukrainians among them were few. “Mass tourism” has destroyed some of the island’s “natural spaces” and caused “irreparable damage” to the environment in the south of the island, said one of the movement’s participants.
Locals demand a complete ban on tours to the island, at least for a while, so that officials can develop a plan to reduce the number of visitors and mitigate the negative effects of over-tourism. They also call for the introduction of an environmental tax for vacationers.
However, Tenerife is not the only hot spot in the Canary Islands, where problems related to the influx of vacationers have worsened. Thus, on the island of Lanzarote, officials in the field of tourism announced that they would focus on quality, not quantity, refusing the mass flow of those who enter. Barcelona, one of the European country’s leading tourist destinations, has also faced protests against the crowds of travelers, read more here.