Brits told 'don't worry' as expats explain 'go home' graffiti in Canary Islands

People have been protesting in the Canary Islands
People have been protesting in the Canary Islands -Credit:AFP via Getty Images

Brits eyeing a summer getaway to the Canary Islands have been reassured that recent anti-tourism graffiti is nothing more than the work of "bored kids".

Despite large-scale protests last month, where thousands marched through the streets demanding a cap on visitor numbers, tourists are being told their safety isn't at risk.

The demonstrations, which unfolded peacefully in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, amid significant police presence, featured banners proclaiming "Canarias tiene un limite" ("the Canary Islands have a limit").

Clips of demonstrators voicing their frustrations with chants like "si vivimos del turismo por que no somos ricos?" which translates to "if we live off tourism why aren't we rich?" circulated online.

Tenerife tourists have been told 'there is nothing to worry about' amid 'go home' protests on the island
Tenerife is a popular spot for British tourists -Credit:Getty Images

Amid these events, potential visitors expressed their concerns on platforms such as Facebook. A post from a worried couple in the 'Expats in Canary Islands' group read: "My wife and I are 60-year-old UK citizens.

"We are VERY concerned about booking a holiday to the Canaries... Lanzarote or Tenerife. Our concern is our safety, due to the widely publicised demonstrations AGAINST tourism and tourists from the UK. Should we just go to another country?"

Despite the protest concerns, several expats maintained the situation has been "blown out of proportion". One woman voiced her standpoint: "The Canaries are NOT against tourism nor tourists from anywhere, including the UK. The demonstrations were about controlling the number of tourists that are coming in."

She further expressed: "The Canaries are being flooded and there are problems for residents finding places to live because homes are being let to tourists, not residents, plus of course prices are being pushed up in the shops, while wages here remain extremely low. It's a bit like some places in the UK, including Cornwall, where locals can not afford to buy a places because of them all being sold as holiday homes for a lot more money."

Another expat also made efforts to reassure potential visitors and said: "You don't have to be worried. Protests are against government and laws. Not against tourists as it was already mentioned here. I live on Lanzarote and everything is OK. I am meeting UK tourists every day, I see them in restaurants, on the beach... all OK."

However, Deputy Mayor of Tenerife, Carlos Tarife, recently urged Brits to seek alternative locations for affordable all-inclusive holidays.

A recent post on the 'Official Tenerife Forum' Facebook group highlighted concerns not just about local authorities but also anti-tourist sentiment, with one user reporting seeing graffiti against tourists.

They posted: "A large number of posts on here are from expats as you would expect, mocking tourists... and stating that the issue is not with holiday makers but with the government. If that is the case and it makes sense, why was there graffiti sprayed along the promenade in Palm Mar clearly aimed at tourist[s]?"

In a reply, a local resident suggested the graffiti was likely the handiwork of "bored kids" looking for attention. They said: "You do realise that most graffiti is written by bored kids, right? They want to be 'rad', get attention and copy what is trending. Hardly Banksy, is it?"

Another individual pointed out: "Only takes one person to write graffiti. Anti-English and tourist graffiti is common sight in parts of Wales but only a small group of people responsible."

Meanwhile, another commented: "If people researched graffiti before going somewhere then no one would ever go anywhere!"

Jessica de Leon, the Canaries' regional tourism chief, spoke to The Telegraph earlier this week, reassuring the islands remain open for visitors. She stated: "It is still safe to visit the Canary Islands, and we are delighted to welcome you."

Despite acknowledging some frustration, she emphasised that it was "unfair to blame tourism" for the issues being faced.