Tenerife is known for its beautiful nature and hospitable people. But, as is the case with many popular tourist destinations, the island faces challenges in sustainable tourism. The growing trend of holiday rentals has raised concerns among locals, particularly about the shortage of affordable housing and the disruption to daily life.
A new balance
The number of holiday apartments in Tenerife is growing rapidly, providing an additional source of income for homeowners and offering tourism an alternative way to holiday. In many residential areas, the presence of holidaymakers has noticeably increased.
Spanish media recently published an article quoting the new Minister of Tourism that “the aversion towards tourism is worrying…”. This makes it seem as if the local population is categorically against all forms of tourism. However, the truth is a lot more nuanced
The impact of holiday homes on the local community
More and more homeowners are choosing to no longer rent out their property on a long-term basis, but to offer their home as a holiday home. This has created a huge shortage on the housing market. As a result, the handful of homes still available for long-term rental have become so shockingly expensive that Joe Average can no longer afford a rental home.
It has also led to a rise in holiday homes in residential complexes. For the hardworking resident, this means that coming home after a long day of work no longer guarantees rest. There is a constant coming and going of suitcases through the complex of incoming and departing tourists.
The possibility of enjoying a day off at the communal pool is almost impossible, as the tourists reserve the sun loungers with towels and often leave a trail of chaos behind them (probably assuming that, just like in a hotel, someone will clean off the mess behind them). House rules regarding waste containers, music volume and night-time noise pollution are often ignored. It is understandable that these ongoing disruptions are causing tensions among the local population.
The local government recognizes these concerns and is committed to a more sustainable approach to tourism. Inspections and fines are used to tackle illegal rentals. But is it enough?
The power of conscious tourists
As a visitor to the Canary Islands you can help make a positive change. For example, consider choosing a more traditional accommodation, such as a Casa Rural. This is usually a rural house or small-scale hotel that is specifically intended for holiday purposes. Nice and quiet and no hassle with angry neighbors if you have in-depth conversations with your traveling companion on your terrace until late. And you don't take up living space in a residential complex where local people could otherwise live (as is often the case with a Vivienda Vacacional).
This solution allows you to enjoy authentic Canarian hospitality (because yes: the locals are indeed friendly and happy with tourism) and at the same time you contribute to the preservation of the island as a livable place for both residents and visitors.
A sustainable future
Let's work together for a future where tourism and local communities can live in harmony. By making conscious choices and supporting sustainable tourism, we can contribute to a thriving ecosystem that can be enjoyed by both visitors and residents. Together we are building a sustainable future for Tenerife, where everyone can experience the beauty of this island without negatively impacting the local community.
Stay safe and ¡Hasta Pronto!