Benidorm bosses in panic tourist protests plaguing Tenerife will spread to holiday hotspot

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun15,2024

Hotel bosses in Benidorm have admitted they are “very worried” by the mass tourism protests in the Canary Islands.

Fede Fuster, head of local hotel association HOSBEC, said last Saturday’s demonstrations across the Atlantic archipelago and ongoing actions by campaigners including a hunger strike showed there were serious problems that needed to be addressed.

He said in a speech to associate members yesterday, at its General Assembly held in the Costa Blanca resort of Altea near Benidorm: “We watched with concern how people in the Canary Islands protested a few days ago against the ‘negative’ effects of tourism.

“This is serious, it should worry us and occupy our minds. The delicate balance between tourists and residents that we have been able to maintain for decades has been broken.”

But he went on to insist those pointing the finger at hoteliers were confusing the “righteous for sinners” in an attack on the expansion of holiday rental homes by claiming: “The genesis of this virus is called the hotelisation of housing and the digital platforms are its carrier.

“In the last 15 years, this type of accommodation has grown from 4,000 beds to more than 400,000 throughout Spain, far outstripping the supply of regulated accommodation.

“What used to be residential land is now being hotelised for the benefit of a few who, moreover, operate with the most absolute impunity.

“And those who are suffering the consequences are our neighbours, our employees, our families, and all of us who compete fairly.”

Mr Fuster, elected HOSBEC president in December 2022 in place of the former long-time leader Toni Mayor, also had a dig at the Spanish government for not making tourism “part of its priorities.”

Saying tourism should be seen as a “source of wealth for society” rather than a threat, he added: “Tourist destinations are the best showcase for a country that can boast a high standard of living and great potential when it comes to being an example of sustainable planning and development.”

Canarias Se Agota, the organisation behind last Saturday’s demonstrations across the Canary islands, has organised a new march later today in the northern Tenerife town of La Laguna where six men and women affiliated to the protest platform are now on the 17th day of their hunger strike.

Supporters who join the march have been asked to bring a suitcase “to show how locals are being ejected from the islands.”

Many are calling on regional president Fernando Clavijo to answer their demands, which include a tourist moratorium, or resign.

Yesterday Tenerife paved the way for tourists to be charged to visit the island’s natural spaces including the iconic Teide mountain from January 1 next year.

Its politicians voted to introduce the fee for non-residents following a viability study.

Yesterday’s vote follows mounting pressure on politicians to deal with some of the demands made by protestors who took to the streets of the Canary Islands last Saturday.

The protestors made their voices heard under the slogan: “Canarias tiene un limite’, which in English translates as ‘The Canary Islands have a limit.’

On Wednesday morning the same words appeared painted in white on the tarmac of one of the access roads to Mount Teide.

Another message painted on the road said: ‘Moratoria turistica’ – ‘Tourist moratorium’ in English.’

Tenerife, a popular island with British tourists, has been at the forefront of the protests linked to the type of mass tourism it attracts.

On Tuesday a leading Tenerife politician urged British and Irish tourists looking for cheap all-inclusive sunshine breaks to go elsewhere for their vacations.

Carlos Tarife, deputy mayor for the island capital Santa Cruz, said holidaymakers interested in staying in their hotels with their mandatory wristbands on should book places like the Dominican Republic instead.

Graffiti in English left on walls and benches in and around Palm Mar in southern Tenerife at the start of the month included ‘My misery your paradise’ and ‘Average salary in Canary Islands is 1,200 euros.’

In an apparent UK backlash, a response left in English on a wall next to a ‘Tourists go home’ message said: “F##k off, we pay your wages.”

Canarias Se Agota has insisted it has nothing to do with the graffiti that has appeared in parts of Tenerife over recent weeks – and has accused regional politicians of blaming them of tourism-phobia as part of a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign.

Benidorm has its own British area known as Little England and at certain times of the year UK tourists occupy nearly 50 per cent of all hotel beds in the famous Costa Blanca resort.

Thousands of British tourists and expats take part in its annual Fancy Dress party every November.

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 “Benidorm bosses in panic tourist protests plaguing Tenerife will spread to holiday hotspot”
  1. Isn’t it concerning that the tourist protests in the Canary Islands might spread to Benidorm as well? Do you think the hotel bosses’ worries are justified?

    1. It’s definitely a valid concern that the tourism protests in the Canary Islands could potentially impact Benidorm. The worries expressed by the hotel bosses seem justified considering the serious issues that have arisen. Finding a balance between tourism and local residents is crucial for the sustainability of holiday destinations.

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