Lanzarote says it is tired of so many British tourists visiting the island – and wants LESS British holidaymakers
The Spanish island has made a name for itself as a popular British holiday hotspot, offering year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and stunning volcanic scenery.
But Lanzarote has now decided it has had enough of tourists after becoming ‘saturated’ with Britons abroad.
The Canary Islands’ haunt is now deliberately pursuing a policy of tourism reduction in order to ‘guarantee the future of future generations’.
Island leaders say the new strategy will focus on becoming less dependent on Britons, who currently account for more than half of holidaymakers.
Lanzarote, with a census population of just 151,000, received 2.5 million tourists until November 2022, 17 times its population.
English tourists on the beach of Puerto del Carmen in Lanzarote (file photo)
Lanzarote has now decided it has had enough of tourists after becoming ‘saturated’ with Britons abroad (Photo: David Cameron on holiday in Lanzarote in 2014)
Now the Island Council has suggested the idea of declaring itself a ‘touristy saturated area’, something for which, according to them, there is ‘a broad social consensus’.
Lanzarote President Dolores Corujo (PSOE) said this would mark the beginning of a phase of tourism decline.
“This year we went to the FITUR travel fair to present the change in the tourism model we want for Lanzarote, which we have been working on throughout this mandate, despite setbacks and restrictions due to the pandemic.
British pub customer sits outside in Puerto del Carmen (file photo)
A young girl puts sunscreen on a family member’s back in Puerto del Carmen (file photo)
“There we certified the return to full tourism normality and reaffirmed our firm commitment to sustainability and excellence,” she said.
This attitude, she said, would mean that we aim to receive fewer tourists, “with more spending at the destination, so that they generate more wealth in the economy as a whole.”
With more than half of the island’s visitors coming from the UK, it would be necessary to ‘follow a diversification strategy to reduce dependence on the UK market’.
The Canary Islands haunt is now deliberately pursuing a policy of tourist decline to “guarantee the future of generations to come”
Lanzarote, with a census population of just 151,000, received 2.5 million tourists until November 2022, 17 times its population
Growth was therefore expected in the French, Italian, Dutch and peninsular markets, which would have a direct impact on the increase in tourism spending at the destination.
Tourism leaders say that while the goal is shared, huge investments will be required to attract a tourist with higher spending, such as the beaches and infrastructure.
And they say it will be a tough job for Lanzarote to find other lucrative markets to reduce the weight of tourism.
Tourists take photos in Timanfaya National Park, a protected volcanic area on the southwest coast of Lanzarote
‘There is hardly any industrial land and aquaculture is not well received either. If the decision is not to grow tourism and at the same time there is no industrial spatial planning and other models are rejected, all parties will have to ask themselves what future model they want to develop,” said a company manager.
Hotels would also need money to upgrade themselves.
At this stage, the Lanzarote Island Council has not said how it intends to reduce tourism saturation or visitor numbers.