Tenerife sends strong message to tourists saying 'go to Caribbean instead'

The comments came just days after thousands of Canary Islanders protested -Credit:Getty

Carlos Tarife, deputy mayor for the island's capital Santa Cruz, has sent a bold message to UK tourists seeking budget all-inclusive holidays, suggesting they should head to the Caribbean instead.

Speaking on a Tenerife radio station, Mr Tarife criticised holidaymakers who prefer to stay within their hotel confines, sporting mandatory wristbands, rather than venturing out into the wider community.

His comments came just days after thousands of Canary Islanders protested against the issues caused by mass tourism, demanding political action.

The deputy mayor explained his opposition to a temporary halt in tourism and advocated for visitors staying in higher quality accommodations.

He explained: "In the Canary Islands we have fewer hotel beds today than five or six years ago.

"That's got to do, amongst other things, with the fact that in the Canaries, and I'm referring especially to Tenerife and southern Tenerife in particular, a model of four-star hotels is changing to one of five-star and five-star plus hotels."

Tenerife has sent a strong message -Credit:Getty

He continued: "Where there were hotels with 250 beds, there's now hotels with fewer beds but greater quality. I think that is the type of tourism we need here, not the type of tourism with all-inclusive wristbands where holidaymakers stay inside the hotel and do everything in the hotel.

"For that I think there are destinations like the Dominican Republic and other places."

Protests erupted over the weekend, with locals holding up banners such as "You enjoy, we suffer" and "Tourism moratorium now". Authorities estimated at least 30,000 people participated, although organisers put the number at 80,000, reports the Express.

"It's not a message against the tourist, but against a tourism model that doesn't benefit this land and needs to be changed," one protestor in Santa Cruz declared.

Join the Daily Record's WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.

Playa de las Americas is situated on the south coast of Tenerife.When combined with Los Cristianos (2 miles away) it forms the largest holiday complex in the south of the island.It is a relatively new tourist resort that was created from scratch in 1996
Tourists have been warned -Credit:Getty

Demonstrator Antonio Bullon said: "The authorities must immediately stop this corrupt and destructive model that depletes the resources and makes the economy more precarious. The Canary Islands have limits and people's patience has limits too."

Famous Spanish opera singer, Ainhoa Arteta, criticized the amount of UK tourists visiting the island, saying instead Spain should attract those seeking cultural experiences. Relations with Spain - the UK's favourite holiday destination - seem to be worsening as tourism impacts intensify.

Last year, 17.3 million Brits flew to Spain, a slight decrease from the 18 million five years ago. Despite this, it still formed the largest chunk of the 85 million tourists in 2023, injecting a staggering €108 billion into the Spanish economy.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond. Sign up to our daily newsletter.