‘Just unbelievable’ Spanish PM SPEECHLESS as Spain tourist backlash hits Canary Islands | World | News

In the first anti-tourism incident on the Canary Islands, chairs have been attacked on the beaches of Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, which are popular among tourists visiting the holiday hotspot. 

Authorities in the Canary Islands have condemned the events of Barcelona and Mallorca where anti-tourism protesters have campaigned against people enjoying their holidays. 

The president of the Spanish Federation of Associations of Travel Agencies (FEAAV), Rafael Gallego, said: “Tourism-phobia has been worrying us since last summer, when the problem began.

“Back then, the Vice-President and Councillor of Tourism of the Balearic Islands, Biel Barceló, made statements on this matter and the FEAAV warned him of the danger of its demonstrations.”

Stickers with anti-tourism messages have been stuck on hundreds of cars in Mallorca, with messages such as “tourism kills Mallorca”. 

Other messages read: “Have you ever thought that this car shouldn’t be here when you have seen one of the 100,000 rental cars that we have in Mallorca? Today is the day.”

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has condemned protestors, warning them the tourism trade is essential to the country’s prosperity. 

He said: “I never thought I would have to defend tourism, this is unbelievable”. 

Mr Rajoy said tourism creates jobs for 2.5 million people, which is around 13 per cent of Spanish overall employment and contributes “a lot” to the economy in Spain. 

He also said: “Attacking tourism is crazy and senseless.”

Anti-tourism protesters have campaigned against city breakers and cruise ships this summer in Barcelona and Venice, while films have emerged of rental bikes and tour bikes having their tyres violently slashed. 

Mr Rajoy has blamed extremists for the anti-tourism protests and called for “good judgement” to isolate the protestors. 

He said: “We move forward and better when we walk together.”

An anti-tourism march is planned in Mallorca for August 17 against the 75.6 million tourists who visit Spain each year. 

The Canary Islands, which boasts 160 miles of beaches, attracts around nine million tourists annually. 

Rafael Gallego, the chairman of the Spanish Association of Travel Agents, said: “This tourismophobia has been worrying us since last summer. 

“In 2016 we noted graffiti and there was an aggression with a glass against tourists who were on an excursion, so we alerted that the situation could radicalise, which is what we have seen.”

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