Lanzarote says it is fed up with having so many British tourists visiting the island – and wants FEWER UK holidaymakers
The Spanish island made its name as a popular British holiday hotspot, offering year-round sun, beautiful beaches and a stunning volcanic landscape.
But Lanzarote has now decided it has had enough of tourists after becoming ‘saturated’ with Brits abroad.
The Canary Islands haunt is now deliberately pursuing a policy of tourist decline to ‘guarantee the future of generations to come.’
Island leaders say the new strategy will focus on becoming less dependent on Brits who currently account for more than half of holiday numbers.
Lanzarote, with a census of just 151,000 inhabitants, received 2.5 million tourists until November 2022, 17 times its population.
Lanzarote has now decided it has had enough of tourists after becoming ‘saturated’ with Brits abroad (pictured: David Cameron on holiday in Lanzarote in 2014)
Now, the Island Council has advanced the idea of declaring itself a ‘tourist-saturated area’, something for which they assure there is ‘a broad social consensus’.
Lanzarote’s president Dolores Corujo (PSOE) said it would be the start of a phase of tourism decrease.
‘This year, we went to the travel trade fair, FITUR to present the change in the tourism model that we want for Lanzarote, on which we have been working throughout this mandate, despite setbacks and limitations derived from the pandemic.
‘There we certified the return to full tourist normality and once again highlighted our firm commitment to sustainability and excellence,’ she said.
This stance, she said, would mean aspiring to receive fewer tourists, ‘with greater spending in the destination so that they generate greater wealth in the economy as a whole.’
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 of just 151,000 inhabitants, received 2.5 million tourists until November 2022, 17 times its population
As more than half of the island’s visitors come from the United Kingdom, it would be necessary to adopt ‘a diversification strategy to reduce dependence on the British market.’
Growth was therefore expected in the French, Italian, Dutch and peninsular markets which would have a direct impact on the increase in tourist spending at the destination.
Tourism leaders say although the objective is shared, massive investments will be needed to attract a tourist with higher spending, such as the beaches and infrastructure.
And they say it is going to be a difficult job for Lanzarote to find other lucrative markets to reduce the weight of tourism.
Tourists take pictures in Timanfaya National Park, a protected volcanic area located in the south west coast of Lanzarote
‘There is hardly any industrial land and aquaculture is not being well received either. If the decision is not to grow tourism and at the same time there is no industrial land planning and other models are rejected, all the parties will have to ask themselves what future model they want to develop,’ said one business leader.
Hotels would also need money to upgrade themselves.
At this stage, Lanzarote’s island council hasn’t said how it plans to reduce tourism saturation or visitor numbers.