Some Canary Islanders’ comments on tourism have led British media to label it a “war” declaration

The UK newspaper, Daily Mail, highlighted on its front page the report with the headline: "Tenerife goes to war against the Brits", among rising complaints from the Canary Islanders.

The escalating friction between Canary Islanders and British tourists in Tenerife has caught the attention of the UK’s press, with the Daily Mail bringing the issue to the forefront in a report that paints a picture of an island at odds with its visitors.

The article, provocatively titled “Tenerife goes to war against the Brits,” dives into the grievances of the Canarian community over the tourism model that attracts British families seeking budget vacations centered around “cheap beer, sunbathing, and fast food.” The situation is exacerbated by the portrayal of Airbnb rentals as a blight on the island, consuming residential areas and exacerbating housing issues for locals.

This tension isn’t a new development. The Daily Mail had previously reported on the local discontent in March, highlighting the emergence of anti-tourist graffiti across Tenerife with messages urging tourists to “go home.” This graffiti symbolized a segment of the local population’s unease with the current state of tourism on the island.

The Daily Mail’s latest report zooms in on the experiences of British tourists who arrived in Tenerife for the Easter break, only to be greeted by anti-tourist sentiment and graffiti, which the newspaper suggests signals a “tense reception from locals.” The publication frames this scenario as the Canary Islanders’ declaration of “war” against the typical British tourist, noted for seeking inexpensive leisure options rather than engaging with the local culture and environment.

Some Canary Islanders' comments on tourism have led British media to label it a "war" declaration

The narrative of conflict is supported by interviews with various stakeholders, including hotel employees, residents of the Canary Islands, and tourists currently vacationing in Tenerife. These conversations shed light on a growing call among Canarians for tighter controls on tourism, driven by concerns over the surging costs of renting and buying properties. This issue is attributed to the proliferation of Airbnb rentals catering to tourists, which reduces housing availability for locals and drives up prices, further alienating the resident population.

Vicky Colomer, a local artist featured in the MailOnline report, encapsulates the sentiment of displacement felt by some Canarians. Colomer expresses her disillusionment with feeling like an outsider in her own community, overshadowed by the preferences of British and German tourists.

She advocates for a shift towards attracting “quality tourists” interested in the island’s cultural and gastronomic offerings and who show respect for its natural beauty. Colomer also highlights the environmental impact of tourism, pointing to the issue of caravans parking illegally and leaving trash behind, further straining the relationship between tourists and residents.

This detailed account in the Daily Mail of the friction between Canary Islanders and British tourists in Tenerife underscores a complex clash of interests, spotlighting the need for a sustainable approach to tourism that harmonizes with the desires and needs of the local population.

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