Published On: Mon, Apr 1st, 2024
World | 3,072 views

‘Enough is enough!’ Furious Tenerife locals demand new tax to tackle overtourism | World | News

Angry locals on the Spanish holiday island of Tenerife are telling British holidaymakers to “go home” because houses are being taken up by holiday rentals and restaurants that cater for UK visitors serve “cheap beer and low quality food”.

Ugly anti-foreigner graffiti has been seen daubed on walls on the Canary Island with messages like “tourists go home” and “too many guiris”. Guiri is a derogatory Spanish word for foreigner.

And it’s not just the locals who are not being very welcoming, Spanish authorities are also considering implementing a “tourist tax” after pressure from environmental campaigners who say more than six million visitors each year is unsustainable.

So far, the Canary Islands do not apply a tax to visitors unlike other parts of Spain, including Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

According to Spanish finance sector firm CaixaBank, tourists spent over £17billion in the Canary Islands in 2023 and the sector makes up more than 35 percent of the region’s total GDP.

The Mail Online reports one anti-tourist poster taped to a wall this Easter said: “Locals are forced to move out and YOU are responsible for that… digital nomads you are NOT welcome here.”

But the paper also reported local expats or UK visitors were writing their own counter messages, with one next to another slogan, saying: “F**k off, we pay your wages”.

Tensions are high at present as some locals claim “ignorant” tourists are upsetting their way of life, with one local complaining of loud parties until 3am.

Some of the campaigners against tourism on the island are organising themselves into rallies and protests in the hope of lobbying authorities to put a cap on numbers.

Data from the Tenerife Island Situation Bulletin, prepared by the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, revealed more than 6.5 million people visited the island in 2023. This is the highest number of visitors in its history and 7.1 percent more than the previous year.

According to Canary Islands Now, the large number of visitors are causing “tourismphobia” to break out in some communities as local services “collapse” due to the massive influx.

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