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Canary Islands beg Brits to keep visiting as anti-tourist protests fuel fears of mass holiday cancellations

Lanzarote and Tenerife have issued a plea to UK holidaymakers in the face of potential mass cancellations, following anti-tourist protests. The Canary Islands’ tourism chief, Jessica de Leon, has reassured Brits that they are still welcome on the islands, despite protests.

Protests took place across the Canary Islands on Saturday, with thousands calling for a major overhaul of the Spanish archipelago’s tourism industry. “It is still safe to visit the Canary Islands, and we are delighted to welcome you,” de Leon told The Telegraph.

She also expressed understanding towards the frustrations but stated it was “unfair to blame tourism”. Fernando Clavijo, the president of the Canary Islands, agreed with de Leon, suggesting some activists were displaying “smack of tourist-phobia”.

He argued that visitors who contribute to the economy should not be criticised or insulted, as tourism is their main source of income. However, Gabriel Gonzalez, a councillor for the hard-Left Podemos party in Tenerife’s resort town of Adeje, countered: “We have the feeling that we are not living off tourism; it is tourism that is living off us.”

Nestor Marrero, secretary of a Tenerife ecology group called ATAN, suggested a different approach: “The number of tourists should be reduced. We should aim for higher-quality visitors, not people in all-included resorts who don’t leave the hotel or interact with locals and our culture in any way.”, reports Birmingham Live.

Last year, the Canary Islands welcomed 13.9 million visitors, despite having a population of just 2.2 million. Data from Spain’s National Statistics Institute indicates that in the Canaries, 33.8% of the population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion, a figure surpassed only by Andalucia.

Clavijo addressed the media this week, saying, “All the actions this government has taken have been based on a revision of this model,” and added, “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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View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/travel-tourism/canary-islands-beg-brits-keep-29033611

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