HomeTravelLocals in Tenerife are 'furious' as tourists turn beautiful island into 'ghetto'

Locals in Tenerife are ‘furious’ as tourists turn beautiful island into ‘ghetto’


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locals have smacked down on tourists making their lives a misery, claiming only visitors can “live well” while the rest of the island suffers. They’ve slammed holidaymakers for turning their stunning island into a “ghetto”.

Anti-tourism sentiment has developed in the tiny territory for decades, with approximately five million people visiting a year, nearly half of whom are Britons. While they bring in up to €7 billion (£6 billion), the resulting clamour and disruption has long been infuriating locals.

Residents have condemned the tourism scene and denounced the tide of visitors for bringing “contamination and destruction” to the island. They have complained only can “live well” and blasted them for turning some areas into a “ghetto”.

They claim Tenerife’s reliance on tourism has allowed inflation and yobbish behaviour to flourish, leaving them struggling to live.

Zarita Chinea, 39, who lives in Palm-Mar, a tourist hotspot dotted with hundreds of hotels, has denounced the area as “a bit of a tourism ghetto” and called for “better quality tourists”.

She told Olive Press: “It’s like there are two worlds in Tenerife, the tourists and the locals, and we don’t mix. I would try to reduce the number of holidaymakers, and I think we need better quality tourists who respect our land and nature, who want to explore the real Tenerife and go hiking, for example.”

Frustration has recently bubbled over, with protests and demonstrations breaking out in particularly tourist-heavy areas. One demonstration in Palma, a resort area heavily favoured by British visitors, targeted tourists as they ate at a portside restaurant.

Masked protesters held banners and lit flares outside Mar de Nudos and showered the diners with confetti. While anti-tourism graffiti has recently re-emerged, telling visitors to “go home”, it’s not a stance adopted by the entire island. 

Canarian Weekly last week said there were many people living there who still welcome tourists. In an op ed, it published: “It only takes one angry man, with a can of spray paint and a smartphone to imply that an entire island has a hatred towards foreign visitors”.

But demonstrative action will continue, groups have pledged, with anarchist organisation Arran saying visitors were “contributing to its contamination and destruction”.

The group said: “We know tourism is something we can’t avoid, but we want people who come to our island to realise they are contributing to its contamination and destruction.”

Protests have even gone beyond the little island, with some breaking out on the mainland in Valencia, where demonstrators occupied a property that hosts tourists taking city breaks.

While some brand the anti-tourism graffiti messages as “utter garbage”, they admitted that Tenerife residents, particularly those living in the southern part of the island, are experiencing massive housing issues. 

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