The Canary Islands are facing a potential crisis due to a significant increase in the number of tourists visiting the region. Urban planning experts and environmental organizations have warned that the quantity and quality of development are causing strain on the islands. They emphasize that small, cosmetic changes are not sufficient to address the issue and stress the need for more substantial urban planning and architectural solutions.
Eugenio Reyes from Ben Magec-Ecologists in Action expressed concerns about the overexploitation of the Canary Islands territory, while Juan Torres, head of Gran Canarias Architects’ College, emphasized the need for more comprehensive measures to address the crisis. The impact of the large influx of tourists is expected to affect the local residents and public services, prompting calls for smarter management of tourist arrivals.
At a gathering at the Tenerife College of Architects, experts discussed the importance of better accommodating the 14 million annual visitors to the Canary Islands. Ben Magec-Ecologistas en Accion expressed the need for fewer tourists and advocating for limits to protect nature and the local community. They stress that the Canary Islands have a capacity limit and that excessive visitor numbers are a cause for concern.
A study from the Sustainability Lab in New York highlighted the challenges faced by the Canary Islands in managing the increasing tourist numbers, suggesting that the region can only sustain half as many visitors as it has accommodated in the last 20 years without causing damage. It is evident that there is a need for more sustainable and responsible tourism management in the Canary Islands to ensure the well-being of both the environment and the local community.