Published On: Thu, Jul 4th, 2024
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Tourist areas targeted in new Canary Island protests | World | News

Tourist areas on the Canary Islands will be targeted in a fresh wave of protests against overtourism, the Express can reveal.

In April, as many as 120,000 people took to the streets of Tenerife to demand limits on the impact holidaymakers were having on the Spanish archipelago.

Carrying banners reading slogans such as “Tourism is killing the Canary Islands” locals told the Express the influx of outsiders had made their home unsafe and was erasing their local culture.

Organisers insisted they were not against visitors coming to Tenerife but wanted to make life more affordable for local people as rents and the cost of living spiraled out of control.

However, in a statement shared exclusively with the Express, environmental protest group ATAN said a lack of progress from the local government in implementing change had left it no choice but to return to the streets.

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

In a significant change to the previous demonstrations, which were focused on the island’s capital Santa Cruz, these protests will take the fight to tourist areas, such as Playa de Las Americas which is hugely popular with British holidaymakers.

“We will take to the streets in the very heart of this overdevelopment model: the tourist areas,” ATAN continued.

“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.”

According to the protest group, the Canarian government has “systematically rejected” measures it feels could address the problems caused by overtourism including limits on the purchase of housing by non-residents, an eco-tax, tourism moratorium and the halting of projects that violate environmental regulations.

The group warned the government that if its demands were not listened to it would continue to raise the stakes.

“To the Government of the Canary Islands, island councils, municipalities, tourism lobby and others benefiting from the islands’ situation, we warn you: you will not silence us, and our protests will only intensify if immediate measures are not taken to stop the profound environmental and social deterioration in the Canary Islands,” it added.

Exact dates haven’t yet been decided for the next protests.

The Canary Islands’ government has been contacted for comment.

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