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Feng responds to tourist anger in the Canary Islands  the world

Feng responds to tourist anger in the Canary Islands the world

Saturday protests in the Canary Islands.

Photo: Alberto Valdés/EPA EFE

Claes Belvik, Head of Communications Wing.

Photo: Matina Tsogas/Ving

Adam Gjörke, TUI Nordic Communications Director.

Image: TOI

Last Saturday, more than 55,000 disaffected locals demonstrated, under the slogan “The Canaries have borders,” on all seven main islands.

But two major travel companies, Ving and TUI, believe that the ongoing protests in the Canary Islands will affect Swedish charter travellers, which is not true.

-We did not notice any major concerns among our guests. There have been some questions from travelers booking future trips, but not many, says Claes Belvik of Ving.

Belvik continues that before last Saturday's demonstrations, information was sent to travelers who were then in the Canary Islands.

-We sent text messages to all guests on site the day before informing them of the demonstrations being planned. We have briefly described what it is about, which is that there is dissatisfaction with how tourism policy is managed.

Banners carrying clear messages were seen in the streets and squares:

“This is not tourism, it is an invasion.”

“The Canary Islands have limits.”

“One in three homes in the Canary Islands are bought by foreigners. Where will we live?”

“clear signal”

FING's communications director, Claes Bilwijk, believes that the protests in the Canary Islands are not directly targeting tourists.

– Criticisms largely relate to the policies being followed, as it is difficult for local residents to obtain affordable housing, congested local traffic, etc. I can understand people reacting to that.

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What do you say to travelers who contact you with questions about the situation in the Canary Islands?

– Our strong opinion, based on our on-site staff, is that as a solo traveler you will receive the same good reception as usual. But this is a clear signal to those in power that they want to see a change in tourism policy in the future.

Lanzarote beach.

Photo: natacontour/Shutterstock

“Follow the protests closely.”

TUI also did not notice any anxiety among the company's passengers.

– We have of course followed these protests carefully, but we have not received any significant feedback from people on site or guests who will go there in the future, says Adam Gjörke, Nordic communications director at Tui.

Adam Gyorki also believes it is a matter of different types of tourism, with charter companies engaging in controlled tourism governed by the number of hotel beds available.

– Controlled tourist swimming is a very positive force for the Canary Islands and the whole world. Then we have this individual tourism where the apartments are used as holiday accommodation thus reducing housing for the local population. They're raising housing prices, and that's not a good thing. Adam Gyorki says access to housing is vital for locals.

Claes Bilvik, communications director at FING, does not believe that the ongoing protests will make the Swedes choose the Canary Islands.

– I do not see this trend, the Swedes' love for the Canary Islands is very deep-rooted and I am convinced that the highest political system is high on the agenda, he says.

Read more: Swedish Anne-Katrin's warning: Don't come here