Overtourism: Spanish Islands Plan To Limit British Holidaymakers

Overtourism: Spanish Islands Plan To Limit British Holidaymakers

Spain has always been a preferred holiday destination for British tourists. Every year, Spain records millions of British people visiting the country to enjoy the white sandy beaches, culture, cuisine, and festivities.

It has been reported that Lanzarote's local government intends to restrict the number of visitors from the United Kingdom after declaring itself a “tourist-saturated area”.

The island has become an established vacation destination for British tourists, but the local government has stated that it wants to lessen its reliance on the British market.

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The local government claims close to 16.5 million visitors arrived in Lanzarote last year and this will be the “absolute ceiling” for the foreseeable future, with the President of the Lanzarote Council Dolores Courjo declaring overcrowding is an imminent threat to the island.

The local government has yet to finalise the details of the proposed plan, but discussions among locals, business owners, and ecologists have already taken place and agreed the island is saturated and something needs to be done to remedy this.

Domino Effect

The issue of limiting the number of British tourists in Spain is not new. The country has been taking control measures for several years.

Not only Lanzarote but other popular tourist destinations in the nation intend to lessen their dependence on British tourists. The Balearic Islands, which include Majorca, Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza, have also started preparing to limit the number of British visitors.

The islands have long been popular destinations for so-called “party tourism,” but local Spanish officials implemented strict new guidelines last year to crack down on inebriated tourists. Ibiza in particular is looking to shed its image as a drunken party destination.

As a result, several all-inclusive resorts in Magaluf, El Arenal, and Ibiza implemented alcohol drink restrictions, and happy hours, pub crawls, two-for-one drink promotions, and the sale of alcohol in shops between 9.30 PM and 8 AM were all prohibited.

Reasons For Limiting British Tourists

One of the main concerns about tourism in Spain is its impact on the environment. 

Spain has some of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse landscapes in Europe, but they are also fragile and vulnerable to damage from mass tourism

Overcrowding, pollution, and unsustainable development have been identified as major threats to Spain's natural resources and wildlife.

Overuse of resources and infrastructure, including water, energy, and transportation, can also be a problem. The Balearic Islands and the Costa del Sol are two places where the rapid rise in tourism has put a strain on the water supply. Also, during the peak travel period, the transportation system may become overloaded, causing delays and traffic congestion.

Spain is not the only EU country that has planned to limit visitors, the local government of Venice, Italy will soon implement a tourist entrance fee to combat over-tourism. The iconic Venice canals are running dry making it impossible for gondolas, water taxis, and ambulances.

What are your thoughts on limiting the number of tourists for sustainable tourism? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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