Canary Island officials have urged locals to give up their ‘tourismphobia’ as they have admitted they need Brits to boost the island’s economy.
Disgruntled residents have recently taken to the streets to protest against tourists coming to the islands.
They are demanding new laws be brought in to protect permanent residents and are also campaigning for restrictions that would apply specifically to tourists.
However, the new tourism minister Jessica de Leon, had urged residents to change their opinions for the sake of the economy.
Tourism accounts for 35 per cent of the island's GDP
“The tourismphobia that is being fuelled by some sectors in the Canary Islands is beginning to get worrying,” she told the Canary Weekly.
“Tourism is colliding with residents, but we must face these points of conflict and tackle them head-on, as in the case of housing.”
According to de Leon, tourism accounts for 35 per cent of the Canary Islands' GDP.
Canary Weekly reported that travel sources were uneasy about de Leon’s statement, as they did not want travel bosses to feel targeted on behalf of their customers.
This comes as enraged locals have gathered to voice their frustrations with tourists who visit the islands.
Signs held by protestors read: “The Canaries are no longer a paradise” and “The Canaries are not for sale”.
A spokesperson for the protest group told Canary Weekly: “Mass tourism has destroyed numerous natural spaces throughout the archipelago, and caused the degradation of many others due to the unsustainable pressure exerted by the 13 million tourists who visit the islands each year.”
They are demanding that the number of available rooms in hotels be reduced and that the construction of new tourist buildings be restricted.