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Brit tourists warned as new rules planned in Tenerife | Travel News | Travel

British tourists heading to Tenerife may soon face new fees and regulations, as authorities on the island are still reeling from the massive protest held on the weekend. Tens of thousands of Tenerife residents joined forces on Saturday and marched through the streets of the island’s capital city Santa Cruz to state that the “Canary Islands have a limit”. 

The protests, organisers stressed, were not directed at tourists, who are acknowledged by locals to be the motor of the local economy.

Rather, Tenerife residents demanded their local government and tourism giants operating on the island to change the industry model, as many locals claim it is killing the stunning holiday destination.

Only a few days after the protest, which one of the organisers claimed to Express.co.uk was attended by as many as 120,000 people, Tenerife President Rosa Dávila signalled she is willing to listen to the locals’ plea. 

Ms Dávila argued the island part of the Canaries archipelago “cannot be a theme park” only catering to its visitors.

Speaking after the mass protest, she proposed a new tourism model that would introduce a levy to access natural spaces, which locals have complained are often polluted and ruined by rude tourists, and “modulate” the number of tourist arrivals.

She said: “We must analyse 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. In addition, there have to be limits to prevent tourism from overflowing.”

Her remarks came after the President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, said on Friday he is open to considering a tourist tax.

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

The overwhelmingly peaceful protest held in Santa Cruz on Saturday saw locals expressing concerns for the sustainability of the environment of the major influx of visitors as well as the housing crisis and poverty levels, believed to be worsened by massive developments aimed solely at tourists and the higher purchasing power of visitors.

A teenager also vividly described how some inappropriate tourists have led her and others to feel unsafe in parts of her home island. Similar protests were also held elsewhere in the Canary Islands as well as in Madrid and London.  

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