Protesters rally against over-tourism in the Canary Islands of Spain | Tourism Updates

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Protesters in the Canary Islands are demanding changes to the mass tourism model that they say is overwhelming the archipelago. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across all seven islands, waving flags and holding signs with messages like “The Canary Islands are not up for sale” and “Respect my home”. The demonstrators are not against tourists, but rather against a tourism model that they believe is not benefiting the local land and residents.

Organized by environmental groups, the protests called for limits on the number of visitors, an eco-tax to protect the environment, and a moratorium on tourism. They argue that the current economic model is harming locals and damaging the environment. Authorities are also concerned about the impact of over-tourism, with a draft law expected to pass this year to address issues like housing market prices and lack of controls in the tourism sector.

Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo acknowledged the need for more controls as tourism continues to grow. The protests in the Canary Islands are part of a larger trend in Spain, where anti-tourism movements have been on the rise, aiming to balance the interests of locals and the lucrative tourism sector that contributes significantly to the country’s economy.

Despite facing challenges during the pandemic, Spain saw a record number of visitors last year, with the Canary Islands remaining a popular destination for tourists. The protests highlight the ongoing tensions between the benefits of tourism and the negative impacts on local communities and the environment.

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