Fuming Lanzarote locals fed up with tourists as island turns against Brits

Lanzarote is one of the Spanish destinations most beloved by British tourists.

Located off the coast of West Africa, this holiday hotspot is part of the Canary Islands and received more than 2.73 million tourists in 2022 alone.

Approximately half of these arrivals were British tourists. But this loyalty UK holidaymakers have historically shown to Lanzarote has far from delighted some locals concerned with overcrowding and unruly behaviour.

Over the past months, locals and officials have made it clear the rowdiest tourists are no longer welcome to Lanzarote.

Carmen Portella, from the organisation Desert Watch, said in late February: “The situation is unsustainable and is getting worse.” Referring to announced measures aiming to curb the number of tourists to protect the territory, she added: “You have to sacrifice people, not nature, which is already sacrificed enough.” 

READ MORE: Furious Tenerife locals demand tourists ‘go home’

Locals in Famara, northwest of Lanzarote, held a meeting during which they looked at ways to prevent overcrowding at beaches – with some lamenting the “uncivil” behaviour of some tourists. 

Lanzarote’s leader María Dolores Corujo said in early March it was her plan to attract “higher-quality tourism” on the island – a comment some believed meant she wanted to reduce the dependence on British tourists.

She said: “It’s essential to work on the diversification of the sector and the growth of markets like the German market, which adapt to our intentions of aiming at higher-quality tourism and holidaymakers who spend more when they’re here and moves us away from mass tourism.”

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Her remarks sparked huge criticism even among locals, concerned a similar plan would result in loss of revenue. A few days later, Ms Corujo stressed again the island’s tourist capacity had reached its limit and it was necessary to prioritise a “rational and lasting development”.

British tourism, however, “has always, is and will always be welcome on the island of Lanzarote”, the politician said in an open letter published by La Voz De Lanzarote news outlet.

She added: “In Lanzarote we are also lucky to have an excellent long-time resident British community, a community that is sensitive to the environment and involved in caring for and defending sustainable development for our island.” 

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Commentator Greg Dickinson noted popular holiday destinations are right in trying to protect their territory and locals.

However, in a comment piece for the Telegraph, he added Lanzarote appears to be providing services for that same type of rowdy tourists “who they’re now, apparently, trying to keep away. I just went on Street View and within five seconds found a bar offering beer buckets and Sunday roasts”.

While Ms Corujo said respectful British tourists are always welcome to Lanzarote, UK holidaymakers were openly targeted this year by the “Stay Away” campaign launched in Amsterdam, which openly told young holidaymakers planning a boozy and unruly holiday to go elsewhere. 

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