Published On: Wed, Jul 10th, 2024
Travel | 3,732 views

‘Tenerife tourists forced me out my home – now I live in tent village’ | World | News

A waiter working on the island of Tenerife has said they’ve been forced to move into a tent village because of tourism on the island.

Miguel de Abreu Freitas, 63, who has lived and worked on the island for 18 years is one of several people working in the hospitality industry who say they have been forced into the makeshift village because of overtourism.

Other residents said they moved into the village because they were priced out of their current accommodation because it was being converted into tourist accommodation.

Their complaints come at a time when tensions in the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands are reaching record levels as locals protest over the impact of tourists on the region.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Freitas said: “I can’t go back to work. You need to wear a clean, ironed shirt and where can I get myself clean? I have hit rock bottom; I get food from the bins outside the supermarket, I have given up hope.”

Mr Freitas’ plight is reflective of issues facing the local population who are concerned that emphasis on pleasing tourists is having a substantial negative impact on the local population

To that end, campaigners have been trying to raise awareness of this issue by organising marches with up to 120,000 thousand people marching through the island’s biggest towns earlier this year.

However, following a lack of progress by the local government to tackle these issues, environmental protest group ATAN has said they intend to return to the streets later this year to remind authorities to help local people.

In a statement, they said: “Nothing has changed. On the contrary, they have deepened their overdevelopment-focused and predatory model of the territory, which they have perpetuated for decades.

“We will take to the streets in the very heart of this overdevelopment model: the tourist areas. In the meantime, we urge people to continue fighting from every corner of the islands against this unjust model that is destroying our lives and our territory.

“Let us once again set an example and reclaim what is ours, with strength and dignity: the Canary Islands have a limit, and it continues to be disrespected.”

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