Hunger strike in the Canaries: what are the inhabitants of the “paradise” islands increasingly protesting against?

Голодовка на Канарах: против чего все активнее протестуют жители «райских» островов?

Residents of the Canary Islands are protesting against excessive tourism, blaming excessive numbers of tourists for exorbitantly high rental prices and environmental problems. One activist group is even calling on Canarians to start a hunger strike in protest.

“The Canaries are scooped to the bottom”

The archipelago belonging to Spain, located in the Atlantic off the west coast of Africa, has long been popular with tourists all year round because of its comfortable temperate climate. However, over the past decade, the number of tourists coming to the Canaries has increased dramatically — from 11.5 million to about 16 million people per year. Uncontrolled tourism has led to overexploitation of the nature of the islands and squeezing local residents out of the housing market, as apartment and house owners prefer to rent them out to tourists for higher and higher amounts.

A group of activists called Canarias Se Agota (“The Canaries have been scooped to the bottom”) begins a protest hunger strike on April 11 and calls on everyone to join them, or form a human chain as a sign of support.

The Canary Islands do not want to continue sacrificing their future to tourists,” the activists said in a post posted on social networks.

Local environmentalists will also take to the streets, who claim that due to the excess of tourists on the islands, natural and social collapse is taking place. A group of environmentalists is also participating in the protests, accusing the growing tourist infrastructure with its pools and golf courses of excessive consumption of fresh water, which is already sorely lacking in the Canaries.

Representatives of local authorities responded by saying that they plan to create a committee, which will include politicians, scientists and citizens, in order to develop a new strategy in the field of tourism.

Tourists are no longer needed

The Canaries are far from the only region in which protests against the dominance of tourists have broken out in recent years. One example is the rally in Hallstatt, Austria. After the end of the pandemic and the revival of the tourism industry, many popular tourist “hot spots” around the world are experiencing exorbitant loads.

On the one hand, the influx of visitors brings money to the local economy and to everyone connected with the hospitality industry, but its downside is noise, garbage, crowds, traffic jams, lack of resources, a decrease in the quality of life of local residents, and bad impressions of the tourists themselves.

Therefore, many “tourist magnets” have begun to impose restrictions designed to reduce the number of those who want to come there — to raise tourist taxes, set the upper limits of attendance at popular places, and so on. For example, the Barcelona authorities have banned the construction of new hotels in the city center, limited the operation of a short-term rental service in the city and closed the local port for cruise liners. This is how the Spanish city is trying to fight supertourism — what kind of phenomenon it is and how travelers themselves suffer from it, we have told here.

The author of the text:Tatyana Shcheglova

According to CNN materials.


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