May 30, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

Are the Canary Islands facing tourism phobia again?

Are the Canary Islands facing tourism phobia again?

In recent decades, the Canary Islands have experienced tremendous growth in tourism, a sector that today accounts for 35% of GDP and nearly 40% of employment opportunities on the islands. As tourism numbers continue to break records and governments and the hotel industry look forward to a prosperous future, dissatisfaction is growing among a portion of the local population. They are disturbed by excesses in the development model and believe that the carrying capacity of the islands has been reached. Has tourismophobia or “tourismophobia” returned to the Spanish archipelago?

The Canary Islands have just experienced their second best year on record. In 2023, 13.9 million foreign tourists visited the islands, an increase of 13% compared to 2022 and 6% more than in 2019 before the pandemic. In February 2024 alone, 1.4 million foreign tourists arrived, 14% more than in the same period of the previous year. They spent 2.2 billion euros during their stay, an increase of 22%.

Expectations for the summer of 2024 are high, with a 10% increase in the number of airline seats booked compared to 2023, to 12.1 million seats. These figures demonstrate the central role that tourism plays in the Canary Islands' economy.

Given the continued growth of the tourism sector and the islands' economic dependence on the industry, many policymakers and business people see further expansion as inevitable. However, criticism is increasing from other corners of society. A major demonstration against mass tourism is scheduled to be held on five islands on April 20 under the name #CanariasTieneUnLimite.

Despite the economic benefits, more and more Canary Islanders are voicing their concerns discontent