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Tenerife holiday warning as tourists could be banned from wearing popular item



authorities have been told to enact a ban on a popular clothing item worn by British tourists on beaches in .

Flip flops, the footwear of choice for most Britons and other foreigners planning to spend a holiday on the beach, have become the latest target of Spaniards hoping to effect change in the local tourist industry.

Anti-tourism campaigners have protested en masse recently against the onslaught of foreigners, who they blame for pushing up local prices and forcing them out of their homes.

Spaniards outside the central debate have now entered the conversation and called for the country to make efforts to attract a different kind of tourist.

Ainhoa Arteta, a Spanish opera singer, has suggested the country should try not to attract “flip-flop tourism”.

Speaking to Diario de Mallorca, a Majorcan daily newspaper, Basque-born Ms Arteta said Spain should work to attract the kind of people who enjoy the country’s singers and musicians.

She recommended that tourist hotspots like Tenerife should work on exploiting “cultural-historical” links rather than its beaches and leisure opportunities.

She said: “If this country exploited its cultural-historical patrimony and accompanied it in all our theatres and auditoriums with ambitious programmes, we would attract cultural and not flip-flop tourism.”

The singer added that Spain’s tourist officials should also look outside of the country’s most popular metropolitan centres.

She added: “The Ministry of Tourism and Culture should act together and we should be conscious there’s culture around the country, not just in two cities.”

The debate around flip-flops is not exclusive to Spain, but the shoes are one of the typical reasons people may be fined while driving in the country.

Article 17 of Spain’s General Traffic Regulations states that motorists “must be in a position to control their vehicles at all times”, and that appropriate footwear is vital to ensuring this is possible.

The Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT), Spain’s national traffic authority, states that people found wearing flip-flops while driving could be stung with a €200 fine.

The department argues that driving without appropriate clothing or footwear could impede people’s ability to drive.

Fines for inappropriate footwear are among the most common given to drivers on Spain’s streets.

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