What's the road ahead for Lanzarote's tourism?, Source: Unsplash

This Spanish island wants to cut down on tourists

This Spanish island wants to cut down on tourists

Lanzarote has a vision of keeping its hospitality sector economy robust by upgrading it to meet the needs of more affluent visitors

Lanzarote is the quintessential volcanic island covered in black soil and nestled in the background of the green Atlantic Ocean it represents quite the draw year-round for many European tourists seeking a getaway from winter blues.

It is one of the Spanish Canary Islands archipelago and it counts with a permanent population of about 150,000 residents. Yet, last year alone, it received over 2.5 million visitors, which is 17 times the number of people living there.

Apparently, the authorities are finding this kind of popularity to be good for the local economy but also unsustainable in the longer term for the local environment. In a similar vein, another Spanish island – Majorca – had decided that too many foreign visitors and residents presented a challenge to the quality of life of the local population as the phenomenon made housing prices hard to afford.

Fewer British tourists?

Lanzarote, in particular, is especially popular with British holiday seekers. Visitors from the UK make up more than half of the total tourist number annually. The latter, however, are also considered to be more budget-minded and in search of package deals.

The island’s president, Dolores Corujo said, as quoted by Canarian Weekly, that the objective of the new strategy would be to target “fewer tourist arrivals, with greater spending in the destination, so that they increase wealth in the island’s economy as a whole."

In essence, this would mean decoupling from the reliance on the British market and creating a “diversification strategy to grow the French, Italian, Dutch, and Spanish markets, which they hope will have a direct impact on the increase in tourist spending at the destination.”

However, this would also imply no additional developments, but rather an upgrade in the already existing facilities towards 4- and 5-star hotels, for example.



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