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Hundreds & Thousands protest against over-tourism in Spain’s Canary Islands

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Tens of thousands of people in Spain’s Canary Islands, united under the banner of about two dozen environmental organisations, took to the streets to protest against mass tourism. They argue that the influx of tourists is overwhelming the Atlantic archipelago, perpetuating an economic model that harms local residents and damages the environment. Their demands include a limit on the number of visitors, a moratorium on tourism, and a clampdown on the sale of properties to non-residents.

The authorities are also urged to introduce an eco-tax to protect the environment. The archipelago, home to 2.2 million people, welcomed nearly 14 million foreign tourists in 2023, a 13% increase from the previous year, according to official data. While the tourism sector accounts for 36% of the islands’ gross domestic product (GDP), the rapid growth is pricing out residents from the housing market, prompting authorities to toughen rules on short lets.

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