Tourist tax in Spain: Holiday hotspot loved by Brits ‘will start charging to visit its popular sites’ from this date – following a wave of protests by locals

A MAJOR holiday destination in Spain is set to begin charging tourists to see some of its most popular sites.

The news comes after a series of anti-tourism protests across the country in recent months, with more planned this summer.

According to the Mirror, Tenerife will begin applying the extra fees to tourists from January 1 next year.

The report says that the Canary Island’s city council confirmed the date on Friday, after holding a meeting on the issue in the wake of the 60,000-strong demonstration last weekend.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: What’s REALLY behind the anti-tourism protests? Locals give their verdict


The price of the levy, described as a form of ‘eco-tax’, has not yet been decided, but will apply to the island’s most protected sites.

These will include the Mount Teide volcano, multiple rural parks and historic pueblos such as Masca.

It comes after a British expat insisted the anti-tourism protests in Spain are not against individuals but rather the ‘excessive’ nature of the industry itself.

Brian Harrison has lived on Tenerife for more than 20 years and joined last week’s 60,000-strong demonstration.

The movement is calling for stricter controls on visitor numbers, an eco-tax and regulations on holiday apartments.

British expat Brian Harrison on Good Morning Britain

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Brian said: “It’s not a beef with the people coming here, it’s the sheer amounts of people.

“When I arrived to the island in 1991, there were maybe two million tourists per year, now this number has gone up to almost six million.

“For an island with limited space it is unsustainable, that is the issue, not the people.”

He added: “Firstly, the graffiti is not as widesrpead as some UK media has claimed, it’s not everywhere, you have to go look for it.

“Tourists are always welcome here, there will be no hostility to any tourists, but action has to be taken.

“The government has had three decades to resolve this issue, and it’s been getting worse every year…

Protests against tourism in the Canary Islands
Last week’s protests against tourism in the Canary Islands (Credit: X (Twitter), Willy Veleta)

“This is a last resort, really, to get the government to take notice… they have to take action to limit tourism and to make tourism sustainable… it’s causing a lot of damage to the island and to the lives of the residents.”

When pressed on how essential tourism is for the economy, he said: “There’s no economic model that proves that limiting tourism and increasing the quality of tourism has a negative impact – on the contrary, a lot of destinations apply a tourist tax and there’s no negative impact at all.”

When asked what protesters wanted, he explained: “To stop the construction of tourist developments, especially in protected areas… limit the holiday letting which is uncontrolled, causing a huge housing crisis… and applying a tourist tax to create a revenue income to restore damaged parts of the island.”

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