UK holidaymakers 'abandon' Lanzarote and Tenerife as thousands of tourists told 'go home'

A golden sand beach with a promenade on the right with parasols and tables.
Beach and Atlantic Ocean panorama with beach promenade in holiday resort Playa de las Americas on Canary Island Tenerife, Spain -Credit:Getty Images

UK holidaymakers appear to be 'abandoning' their sun-soaked retreats in the Canary Islands, including Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, following a significant rule change by the European Union. It has emerged that UK nationals are now only permitted to spend 90 days at a time in Spain.

This adherence to stringent EU regulations, implemented a few years post-Brexit, has led to disgruntled UK travellers in the Canaries considering returning home. Thousands of Canary Island locals have taken to the streets to protest against tourism, declaring their region is 'not for sale'.

These demonstrations aim to halt the rise in short-term holiday rentals and hotel developments, which are driving up local housing costs, according to Birmingham Live. Signs reading 'We don't want to see our island die', 'Stop Hotels' and 'Canaries not for sale' were visible during these large-scale protests.

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"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 protester in Santa Cruz de Tenerife expressed.

Another demonstrator, Antonio Bullon, stated: "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.", reports Bristol Live.

The Balearic Islands are considering limits on the number of tourists as the tourist paradise region grapples with overtourism. The islands' president stated on Friday that he felt "proud" the region is a leading Spanish tourism spot, but conceded more controls are needed.

The islands, home to two million residents, welcome a significantly larger number of holidaymakers each year.

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