ARRECIFE – The island of Lanzarote wants to declare itself a “tourist-saturated” destination. This is how the island government announced it. The goal is to halt growth and start down the road of contraction.
According to RTVE, this means that the island government does not want “more beds or more growth”, “because that leads to unsustainability”. An initiative in this regard will take place in the coming weeks. Moreover, they want to protect the “unique” island against overpopulation.
In December 2022, Lanzarote had 72 hotels with a total of about 40,276 beds. That year is expected to close with 2.4 million international tourists received (according to Promotur). The island has 151,000 registered inhabitants, which translates into a ratio of almost 20 tourists per inhabitant. Tenerife, on the other hand, receives more than 7 tourists per inhabitant, Gran Canaria 5 and La Palma slightly more than 2. Only Fuerteventura comes close with a figure of 18 tourists per inhabitant.
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The strategy would be to receive fewer tourists while spending more, as President Dolores Corujo explained this week. However, these statements about saturation contrast with the development of some of the newest projects on the island, such as the expansion of the port of Playa Blanca, in the municipality of Yaiza. It was inaugurated three weeks ago and aims, among other things, to encourage the flow of tourists from Fuerteventura.
The message from the island government is slightly more nuanced than what some British newspapers, including the Daily Mail, made of it earlier this week. They headlined that Lanzarote would like fewer British people on the island.
Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands located in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa. The island is known for its volcanic landscapes, black and red sand beaches, and well-preserved architecture. Its largest town and capital, Arrecife, is a popular tourist destination. Some of the most famous tourist destinations on the island include Timanfaya National Park, which features a volcanic landscape, and Cueva de los Verdes, a lava tube formed by a volcanic eruption.