Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

‘Chillin’ with 50k Tenerife Protesters: What They’re Tellin’ British Tourists

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May31,2024

The people of the Canary Islands came out in force to tell the world enough was enough today (April 20).

Around 5 percent of the population of Tenerife pulled on yellow t-shirts in reference to the little bird with the same name to call for measures to tackle the overtourism which has blighted the island.

Walking through the crowds the frustration at the way the island had lost control was immense, although when I spoke to some of the 50,000 they were clear this was not about telling tourists to “go home” as had previously been reported.

“It’s not tourismphobia” a female protester shouted at me when I took a photo of her banner which said tourists were “killing” the island. 

Portrayed as a battle, the march on the island’s capital was more of a plea.

What the locals really want are fewer second homes, projections for nature and limits to new resorts. It was hard not to sympathise with people who are hearing their native language eroded to the point schools are now teaching Biology and Maths in English.

In a similar way to how many rural areas of Britain feel ignored, the protesters feel abandoned by the powerful in Madrid and Brussels, angry that hotels without planning permission are being erected regardless and only members of the public stand in the way of the diggers and bulldozers tearing holes in the beaches.

As local Canarians leave the islands in droves I witnessed firsthand how campervans filled with German backpackers have occupied the desert to party in protected natural habitats.

Yet seeing slogans like “Tourism is killing our lands” on the t-shirts of the protesters you can’t help but feel like it’s a bit of an attack on the many Brits who enjoy Tenerife every year.

I asked one man wearing the this motto why and he told me the answer was more nuanced. He said: “It’s about mass tourism and the corruption of our government. there is a limit.”

I guess that’s a bit too long to fit on a t-shirt.

The Express has been covering the protest live, read all the latest updates here.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “‘Chillin’ with 50k Tenerife Protesters: What They’re Tellin’ British Tourists”
  1. As a frequent visitor to Tenerife, I can see both sides of the issue. It’s heart-wrenching to see the impact of overtourism on such a beautiful island. The protesters’ message is clear – they don’t want tourists to go home, but they want sustainable solutions for the future. It’s time for authorities to listen and take action before it’s too late.

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