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Canary Islands demand tourทาง pgslotlive asian oddsist industry reform

Premier: Foreign firms welcom | ทาง pgslotlive asian odds | Updated: 2024-06-05 10:59:45

People display placards during a demonstration for a change in the tourism model in the Canary Islands, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, on April 20. [Photo/Agencies]

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in protests across the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean that is a hugely popular tourist destination, about the strain being put on the islands by tourism.

Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace have given their support to the demonstrations which have occurred across the islands, situated around 100 kilometers off the coast of Morocco, and more than 1,700 kilometers away from the capital of Spain, Madrid.

The islands of Tenerife and Lanzarote are among Europe's most popular destinations because of their consistent levels of sunshine and mild temperatures all year round.

In 2023, the islands, which have a population of 2.2 million people, attracted 13.9 million visitors.

Tourism provides more than one-third of the islands' GDP, but locals say it is causing environmental damage, and the demand for properties is pricing them out of the market.

Now, under the banner The Canaries have a limit, they are protesting and calling for reform.

"We are not against tourism," protester Rosario Correo told national television channel TVE. "We're asking that they change this model that allows for unlimited growth of tourism."

Ruben Zerpa, of the Canaries Sold Out group, told British newspaper The I that the islands had always been welcoming to tourists but wanted it done in a more sustainable way, amid reports of locals being forced to sleep in cars and caves, because of a shortage of affordable property.

"Tenerife is a small island with limited resources," he said. "The roads are overwhelmed with traffic, there is a hydraulic emergency going on and hotels are full."

"We've reached the point where the balance between the use of resources and the welfare of the population here has broken down, especially over the past year," added Víctor Martín, a representative of a group called The Canaries Have Had Enough, which coordinated the protests.

"The problem isn't the tourists," he continued. "It's a model that was built around, and with the connivance of, a business class that doesn't want to listen to what needs to be done, and with a political class that serves that business class, instead of serving all the citizens."

Photographs have circulated on social media of fake signs put up by locals, declaring overcrowded areas to be "closed for tourist overcrowding", in an effort to limit visitor

numbers.

Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo said he was "proud" that the region was such a tourist magnet, but admitted controls were necessary.

"We can't keep looking away," he said. "Otherwise, hotels will continue to open without any control.

"The Canaries tourist model has been a successful one, but obviously, as with anything, there are things that could be perfected."

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