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Popular destination for British holiday makers ‘collapsing socially and environmentally’



A popular sunny British holiday destination is “collapsing socially and environmentally” due to the huge numbers of tourists, residents say.

Locals on the Canary Islands are “living in their cars or even in caves” due to soaring housing prices. Now they are gearing up to protest.

The group of Spanish islands, located off the coast of Africa, are hugely popular with Britons, with nearly five million jetting out last year.

But now local groups are mobilising and protests are planned for 20 April.

Organisers claim one of the islands “is collapsing socially and environmentally” because it cannot cope with the numbers of tourists.

A recent report from environmental group Ecologists in Action warned of “unsustainable tourism” to the Canary Islands.

Despite the new tourism records being set year after year, generating millions of euros for the industry, almost 34% of the local population, nearly 800,000 people, are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, the report said.

“Next Saturday, 20 April, we will take to the streets to once again demand what is common sense; control a situation that suffocates us and expels us from our own territory,” it added.

There have also been reports of locals putting up fake “closed to overcrowding signs” in a bid to ward off tourists.

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Ivan Cerdena Molina, who is helping organise the protests, told local news outlet The Olive Press: “We have nothing against individual tourists but the industry is growing and growing and using up so many resources and the island cannot cope.

“It’s a crisis, we have to change things urgently, people are living in their cars and even in caves, and locals can’t eat, drink or live well.”

President of the Canary Islands Fernando Clavijo urged activists to “use common sense”.

“What we cannot do is attack our main source of employment and wealth because it would be irresponsible,” he told local media.

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