Canary Island holiday warning as locals to hold huge protest against tourists | World | News

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The Canaries are poised to see mass protests across the five islands of the archipelago against perceived overtourism. On April 20, people will take to the streets in “historic” demonstrations in Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and La Palma.

However, in the run up to the protests, the Canary Islands president Fernando Clavijo called for “common sense”, noting that tourism is the “main source of employment and wealth” for the local economy.

Clavijo told journalists that he was concerned that the protests would insult tourists who have “come to enjoy themselves, to spend a few days and to leave their money in the Canary Islands”. He added that protesters need to “be responsible in this action”.

“What we cannot do is attack our main source of employment and wealth, because that would be irresponsible,” he said in statements to reporters, adding that people should show “common sense and calm”.

The April 20 protests have been organised under the banner: “The Canary Islands have a limit”.

Brits planning a summer jaunt to one of the islands may need to be wary of a frosty atmosphere from Spanish residents. The protests next month follow similar shows of strength last year, where residents sprayed slogans and called for tourists to “go home”.

Asociación Tinerfeña de Amigos de la Naturaleza (ATAN), a Gran Canaria urban development group, said in a statement: “The situation is alarming. Despite the record increase in tourists, poverty continues to rise. The biodiversity and natural spaces of the islands are suffering unprecedented deterioration, while the search for housing has become an increasingly difficult task.

”Journeys by road that used to last a few minutes can easily now take up to an hour and a half, contributing to general transportation chaos.

“Furthermore, the declaration of a water emergency in Tenerife and the daily discharge of more than 50 million litres of sewage into the sea in Tenerife alone are unequivocal signs of an unsustainable and unbearable model,” the association added.

According to ATAN, the institutional response has been ”disheartening”. It is claimed that officials have been betting ”on the destruction of the islands with the construction of more hotels” such as the Cuna del Alma tourist project or the La Tejita hotel.

In 2023, protesters carried placards saying “the Canaries are no longer a paradise” and “the Canaries are not for sale”.

Protesters demanded the introduction of an “eco tax” to pay for the environmental damage caused by the millions of tourists that flock to the islands every year.

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