Backlash Against British Tourists in Tenerife Sparks Protests Amid Calls for “Higher Quality” Visitors

Backlash Against British Tourists in Tenerife Sparks Protests Amid Calls for “Higher Quality” Visitors

In the popular Spanish resort of Tenerife, tensions are escalating as locals express frustration over the influx of British holidaymakers, whom they perceive as contributing to a decline in the quality of tourism.

Despite the area’s heavy reliance on tourism for its economy, residents are voicing a growing desire to attract more discerning visitors who would appreciate the Canary Islands’ culture and cuisine, rather than those primarily interested in sun, cheap beer, and fast food.

Mounting Criticism and Graffiti Protests

Graffiti with messages such as ‘tourists go home’ and ‘too many guiris’ (a derogatory term for foreigners) has appeared near resorts, reflecting locals’ dissatisfaction with the current state of tourism.

There is a sense that the influx of tourists, particularly from the UK, is overwhelming the island and detracting from its natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Calls for Quality Tourism

Residents, including painter Vicky Colomer and school teacher Zarita Chinea, are advocating for a reduction in the number of visitors and a shift towards attracting more culturally-minded tourists who respect the local environment.

They highlight issues such as illegal camping, noise pollution from tourist activities, and limited job opportunities for local youth as consequences of mass tourism.

Protests and Demands

In response to these concerns, protests have been planned in Santa Cruz, with campaigners demanding a reconsideration of tourism policies and stricter regulations on property purchases by foreigners.

These protests reflect a broader movement calling for a balance between economic development and environmental conservation.

Challenges and Perspectives

While some British expats and tourists acknowledge the strain on local resources and housing, they argue that tourism is vital for the island’s economy and job market.

They emphasize the positive contributions made by tourists through spending and investment in local businesses.

Seeking Solutions

As tensions continue to simmer, there is a need for constructive dialogue between residents, tourists, and policymakers to address the complex challenges facing Tenerife’s tourism industry.

Finding a balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability will require collaborative efforts from all stakeholders involved.

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