Published On: Mon, Apr 15th, 2024

Spain holiday warning as beautiful island to draw up plans to cut back on British tourists | World | News

Spanish locals living in packed tourist hotspots have been up in arms over fears that their beloved homes are being overrun with Brits abroad.Now, the Spanish government’s tourism agency – Turespaña – is set to conduct formal nationwide research into whether Majorca, the Balearics and other holiday favourites are receiving more tourists than they can handle.

Two waves of surveys in August and November will be used to collect evidence from locals, after which a strategy will be implemented to “solve or mitigate” the issues, according to Spanish news outlet Majorca Daily Bulletin.

Julio López Astor, Turespaña’s deputy director of knowledge and tourism studies, says that the intention of the survey is to “put a scientific layer on the debate about overcrowding and know what a community thinks”.

He added: “There is a silent majority whose opinion often doesn’t come to light.

“It is necessary to develop indicators that are easy to interpret but sufficiently representative of the underlying reality that can serve as future statistical references in measuring the social sustainability of tourism.

“We are going to know what people think and how they view it [overcrowding]. The most important thing is to understand how it affects the population consulted in each case, to know where these perceptions come from and to measure them.”

The sense from Spanish locals that their communities are being overtaken by fleeting visitors is not new. There have been several protests in the last year, with more planned this weekend.

On April 20, residents in the Canary Islands will take to the streets to rally against the numbers of visitors arriving in their archipelago every year. According to Statista, in 2022 more than 12 million people visited the Canaries. The local population is around two million.

Last month Canarian Weekly reported that locals will be protesting in Gran Canaria and Tenerife under the banner “The Canary Islands have a limit”. In 2023, slogans such as “tourists go home” were sprayed by residents of the islands.

Néstor Marrero Rodriguez, a member of the Tenerife ‘Friends of Nature’ Association (ATAN), told last week that the attitude of local people towards mass tourism has flipped in recent years.

He told “The islands are on the verge of collapse and people are very tired of the tourist model. The propaganda that the public administration does to clean up the face of the model no longer works and people hate the tourist model.

“Everywhere there is a proliferation of graffiti saying ‘tourist go home’, ‘only local’ or ‘tourist not welcome’. A few years ago this was unthinkable, but now it is a reality.”

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