Lanzarote joins the Balearics in seeking to shut out Brit tourists in favour of Germans

Lanzarote has become the latest sun-soaked Spanish island to complain about low-spending Brit tourists and court the Germans instead.

The Canary Island joins the Balearic Islands, who have been trying to shift their tourism away from a dependency on British tourists and welcome ‘higher quality tourists’.

Lanzarote’s President María Dolores Corujo risked upsetting local hospitality bosses in the Canary Islands with her comments that seemed targeted at Brits, who make up around a third of all visitors to the islands pre-Covid.

She said: “It’s essential to work on the diversification of the sector and the growth of markets like the German market, which adapt to our intentions of aiming at higher-quality tourism and holidaymakers who spend more when they’re here and moves us away from mass tourism.”

Mari?a Dolores Corujo Berriel) Presidenta Electa Al Cabildo De Lanzarote Psoe
Lanzarote’s President María Dolores Corujo has been vocal in her plans to reduce British tourists to the island and encourage Germans in their place. Credit: Prensa PSOE Lanzarote

She was speaking at the Berlin Tourism Fair, where she canvassed for more flights to the islands from Germany in a state move away from British tourism, drawing outrage from Brits who labelled it ‘downright rude’.

In the past, Lanzarote’s leader had claimed the Spanish island was ‘saturated’ with Britons abroad and wanted to attract ‘higher spending’ visitors from France, Italy and the Netherlands instead.

But such flagrant discrimination has been dubbed ‘unwise’ by hotel bosses on Lanzarote – dubbed ‘Lanzagrotty’ in the past – and risks provoking the blowback price inflation that is currently afflicting Mallorca.

Mallorca and Ibiza’s search for ‘upmarket’ holidaymakers has seen a corresponding rise in rents, leaving locals struggling to rent or buy property and sometimes forced to sleep in vans.

And the island’s efforts to block foreigners from buying property – currently running at 36% of sales – has run into obstacles thrown up by the European Union.

The Mallorca government is already trying to ensure that this summer’s tourist numbers do not exceed last year, despite hotels planning for a record 30 million visitors.

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