Canary Islands: why paradise for tourists becomes unbearable for locals

By TravelWiseFeb 15, 2024 21:14 PMNews
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Canary Islands: why paradise for tourists becomes unbearable for locals
Many locals find it difficult to survive in the Canary Islands. Source: Pexels

The Canary Islands, located off the coast of Africa, have long been a paradise for millions of tourists who come here every year to enjoy the sun, sea, and picturesque landscapes. However, the shiny facade of a sunny tourist paradise hides a dark side: growing poverty, low wages, lack of affordable housing, gender pay gap, etc.

Additionally, there are environmental problems exacerbated by overtourism. According to the Express, locals do not want to diminish their focus on tourism income, but they do want to make changes.

Casimiro Curbelo, the current president of the Cabildo de la Gomera (ASG), said he is against calls to change the current tourism model on the islands, but he is in favor of modifying it to "achieve excellence."

Despite the industry's prosperity, many Canary Islanders live on very little. Thirty-six percent of the population, almost 780,000 people, are at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

Canary Islands: why paradise for tourists becomes unbearable for locals
Not everyone is doing well in the Canaries. Source: Pixabay

Employees in the tourism industry who serve foreigners often receive meager wages. Low wages, a lack of affordable housing, and high food prices make life on the islands very challenging for many people.

All income on the archipelago is distributed as follows: 3% of the richest people on the islands own 58% of the wealth, and the remaining 97% of the population owns the rest.

Against the backdrop of these problems, there are growing concerns about the sustainability of tourism in the Canary Islands and fears about the future of the islanders.

Casimiro Curbelo said that "there is no need to change" the tourism model in the Canary Islands, but there is a need to "improve it" by making it more competitive and sustainable so that it works in favor of local people, not to their detriment.

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