Published On: Tue, Mar 5th, 2024

Tenerife locals have had enough and demand ‘tourists go home’ | World | News

Residents of Palm-Mar woke up to graffiti messages expressing frustration with the surge in tourism in the area.

Slogans such as ‘Tourists go home,’ ‘My misery your paradise,’ and ‘Average salary in Canary Islands is 1,200€’ were prominently painted on walls and viewing points across the town.

Tourism, often hailed as the heartbeat and economic engine of the Canary Islands, particularly in the south of Tenerife, is now facing backlash from locals who believe that the industry is causing more harm than good.

While acknowledging the importance of tourism for the island’s survival, residents and environmental groups argue that the government’s approach has been excessive, saturating the island and diminishing the quality of life for its citizens.

One of the prominent issues highlighted by the discontented locals is the housing crisis, with landlords opting for lucrative holiday lets, leaving a shortage of residential properties in the rental market. The surge in tourist-related traffic has also led to near gridlock conditions, especially during peak tourist seasons, with roads filled with rental cars.

Moreover, the approval of more hotels and tourist ‘villages’ is exacerbating the situation, attracting even larger crowds.

As one graffiti message points out, the average monthly wage in the Canary Islands is approximately 1,200 euros (£1000), which falls short when compared to rising rents, increasing interest rates, and the overall cost of living, driven by inflation rates.

The recent water emergency declared by the Tenerife Cabildo on Friday adds another layer to the concerns. While not directly linked to tourism, it was highlighted that tourist areas consume six times more water than residential areas, contributing to the strain on water reserves for human consumption and agricultural use.

The local discontent raises questions about the sustainability of the current tourism model in Tenerife. With the situation showing no signs of improvement, residents are left wondering what needs to change and when a resolution might be in sight. The delicate balance between economic growth and preserving the island’s well-being remains a pressing concern for both residents and policymakers.

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