Spain holiday warning for UK tourists going to Lanzarote and Tenerife this year | Travel News | Travel

The Canary Islands are set to be hit by “historic” protests on April 20 as locals and residents take to the streets to demonstrate against tourism in the popular holiday destination. 

UK holidaymakers planning to jet off to Lanzarote and Tenerife have been urged to be prepared for possible disruptions. 

“Historic” demonstrations are set to take place across Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and La Palma.

Locals believe the Canary Islands are suffering from “overtourism,” and some island residents want tighter rules, reports the Daily Record

They are calling for a tourist tax on holiday goers who “drink cheap beer, lay in the sun and eat burgers and chips”.

In response, the Canary Islands’ president, Fernando Clavijo, has called for “common sense”. He reminded everyone that tourism is a major job supplier and wealth creator for their local community.

Pleading with the protesters, he emphasised tourists “come to enjoy themselves, to spend a few days and to leave their money in the Canary Islands”. UK holidaymakers, in particular, contribute millions towards tourism every spring and summer, according to Birmingham Live.

A statement by Asociacion Tinerfena de Amigos de la Naturaleza (ATAN), an urban development group based in Gran Canaria, reinforced this view: “What we cannot do is attack our main source of employment and wealth, because that would be irresponsible.”

The president of the Federation of Neighborhood Associations of the Canary Islands, Antonio Morales, commented: “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.”

The association added: “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.”

One person commented on social media: “The only people to blame for over-development, congestion, lack of infrastructure, essential services and the destruction of the environment is the Canary Island Government. It approved building hotel complexes and “new tourist towns, bars, restaurants, tourist attractions and water parks.”

“It failed to build enough housing for locals, adequate essential infrastructure, roads and public transport. They are happy to take the income/rates/taxes that tourism brings, but don’t want to spend that money to solve these problems.”

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