Spain: Thousands rally in Canary Islands against mass tourism

Spain: Thousands rally in Canary Islands against mass tourism

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE (Canary Islands, Spain), April 23 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Tens of thousands of people in Spain’s Canary Islands have rallied against a model of mass tourism they say is overwhelming the Atlantic archipelago.

The protesters want limits on tourist numbers and curbs on what they describe as uncontrolled development harmful for the environment and residents. They stress they are not against the tourism industry, which makes up 35% of the Canaries’ economy.

In 2023, 13.9 million tourists visited the seven main islands that is about six times more than the islands’ population of 2.2 million, official figures show. The tourism industry also accounts for 40% of the archipelago’s jobs.

The biggest markets for the islands are the UK and Germany, although they are also a popular destination for mainland Spaniards. Tourists are attracted by the Canaries’ beaches and ample sunshine all year round.

Street protests were held across the archipelago. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the largest island, Tenerife, demonstrators held placards that read “Tourist – respect my land!” and “Canaries have a limit”.

Street rallies also took place in parts of mainland Spain.

Last week, activists begun a hunger strike on Tenerife, in protest at what they see as the destructive growth of tourism on the Canary Islands. Protesters are demanding a halt to the construction of a hotel and a beach resort in the south of the island. They also want a moratorium on all tourism development projects.

— NNN-AGENCIES

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