The potential changes that could affect UK tourists due to increasing anti-tourist sentiment in the Canary Islands have been unveiled. It comes after mass protests this past weekend regarding "overtourism" in popular destinations such as Lanzarote and Tenerife.

A growing number of local residents throughout the Canary Islands are stating that "enough is enough", arguing that there's a limit to just how many tourists these islands can handle. The situation has escalated to the point where some locals are resorting to anti-tourist graffiti and demonstrations to voice their discontent about the surge of British holidaymakers.

As reported by Birmingham Live, UK travellers have been alerted to the fact that their presence is resulting in an increase in housing prices and a shortage of availability for locals. The seven main islands of the Canaries, which have a combined population of 2.2 million people, welcomed nearly 14 million foreign tourists in 2023, marking a 13 per cent increase from the previous year.

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Visitor limits

In order to curb the burgeoning visitor numbers, it is possible that new regulations and restrictions may be implemented by the local authorities. Rosa Davila, who holds the distinction of being the first female president of Tenerife, has suggested implementing caps on visitor numbers, adding: "In addition, there have to be limits to prevent tourism from overflowing."

Tourism accounts for 35 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the Canary Islands, but demonstrators say changes to the industry must be made. Groups protested in Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and La Palma on Saturday.


Davila proposed a new tourism model that would charge visitors a fee to access natural spaces. She is also advocating measures to "modulate" the number of tourists arriving in Tenerife - and "study the impact of demographic growth.

Thousands of people demonstrate to demand a tourism model respectful for the islands environment and their residents, on the Canary Island of Tenerife, on April 20, 2024. Tens of thousands of demonstrators hit the streets across Spain's Canary Islands on Saturday to demand changes to the model of mass tourism they say is overwhelming the Atlantic archipelago. (Photo by DESIREE MARTIN / AFP) (Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

She said after the mass protests: "We must analyze the exceptionalities that can be applied in a territory as fragile and limited as ours. What is clear is that Tenerife cannot be a theme park. Those who visit us have to value and respect our natural and cultural wealth, our resources, and they have to be clear about the rules for their preservation."

Daily tax

President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, previously warned that a daily cost for visitors could be on the table. While not included in current plans, Clavijo said the government is willing to look at suggestions of a three euro per night charge.

He said last Friday: "It is true that the ecotax is not included in the government program, but it is also true that we are willing to discuss it; the government will always engage in dialogue. ".