Tourists hit back at Lanzarote president who wanted fewer Brits

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Downright rude!’: Furious British holidaymakers hit back at Lanzarote’s president who said she wanted fewer Brits on the island and more ‘higher-spending’ visitors from France, Italy and the Netherlands

  • Lanzarote received 2.5 million tourists last year, seventeen times its population
  • President Corujo said she wanted fewer tourists and higher per capita spending
  • Island aims to become less dependent on tourism, 50% of which is now British

British holiday-makers have told of their fury at Lanzarote’s announcement that it is fed up with UK tourists visiting the island.

The Canary Island sun-spot received over 2.5 million visitors last year – 17 times its population – with the majority coming from the Britain.

But Lanzarote’s leader claims the Spanish island has become ‘saturated’ with Britons abroad and now wants to attract ‘higher spending’ visitors France, Italy and the Netherlands instead.

Holidaymakers Lewis Ryder and Nicole Clarke pictured enjoying a drink in Lanzarote

President María Dolores Corujo Berriel is a Spanish politician and a member of the centre-left PSOE party of Spain.

She has been the General Secretary of the PSOE of Lanzarote since 2012.

She became the President of the Cabildo de Lanzarote in June 2019.

She has reportedly made great steps towards reforming the island economy and paying off historic debts.

Diversifying the tourist economy, which results in huge seasonal variation in income and is hard hit by events like the pandemic is a permanent concern for Lanzarote’s administration.

Corujo has looked to ensure that reform does not come at the expense of the island’s natural geography. 

Having struggled through the pandemic due to an overreliance on foreign tourism, Lanzarote President Dolores Corujo said previously: ‘This year, we went to the travel trade fair, FITUR to present the change in the tourism model that we want for Lanzarote, on which we have been working throughout this mandate, despite setbacks and limitations derived from the pandemic.’

She added that the island would look to manage risk with ‘a diversification strategy to reduce dependence on the British market.’

Her outrageous comments have angered Britons currently on holiday and spending their money to support the island.

Andrew Edwards, 54, from Burnley told MailOnline: ‘I think she is downright rude. This woman is saying she wants a better class of tourist, how dare she.

‘In actual fact we are spending a lot of money here.’

He said: ‘I’m staying in a villa with friends and we are going out to restaurants every day for lunch and dinner. It’s costing a fortune!

‘If this woman did not want British people to come to Lanzarote, why is the beer so cheap?’

Josh Neale and Caitlin Burdis told how they only came to Lanzarote because it was cheap.

Lanzarote president Dolores Corujo, pictured, looks to reduce the island’s dependence on tourists overall after the pandemic drew attention to the limits of a one dimensional economy

READ MORE: Wish you were still welcome here? As Lanzarote looks to DITCH British tourists, a look at what we’d miss out on… from camel-trekking to black-sand beaches


Caitlin, 23, a post graduate, said: ‘We only came on holiday because it was cheap. We paid £250 for flights and a week’s accommodation. We couldn’t afford to go anywhere else.’

Josh, 23, a nurse, added: ‘Having said that we have been out every day buying drinks and eating out so we are contributing to the economy.’

Mark and Jackie Farr say they will stop coming to Lanzarote if they are not welcome.

Mark, 68, retired salesman, from Bristol said: ‘It’s outrageous. We’ve coming here for a break every year after Christmas for the past seven years.

‘We spent ten days staying at a hotel and just relax.

‘But if they don’t want us here, we’ll go somewhere else. They need us. What else is here apart from tourism? Nothing!’

Retired gas engineer Paul Hobart agreed.

Paul, 62, from Chelmsford, Essex, said: ‘It’s total nonsense. There is nothing here apart from tourism. What else could they do to make money?’

His partner Bernie O’Sullivan, 57, added: ‘Everyone comes here for the weather. There really is nothing else.’ 

Mark and Jackie Farr say will stop coming to Lanzarote if they are not welcome any more

Ex-pat waitress Rebecca Wilkinson told MailOnline the island would die without British tourists.

Rebecca, 28, grew up in Tenerife and has Spanish residency.

She said: ‘I don’t know what the president is on about.

‘Lanzarote and all the other Canary islands could not survive without British tourists.

‘I work two jobs, one here in this restaurant, and another in a hotel. All of our customers are British.

‘If the Brits stopped coming we would be finished, all of us.’

A group of pensioners enjoy a camelback ride in 1968 when the package holiday was starting to attract holidaymakers

A British couple enjoy an al fresco salad lunch with a glass of wine while on holiday in Lanzarote in 1993

Drenched with year-long sunshine, surrounded with sandy beaches and a stunning volcanic landscape, Lanzarote was among the first parts of Spain to attract British holiday-makers in the package holiday boom of the 1960’s.

Over the past 50 years tourism has become the primary industry throughout all of the Canary Islands, which have little industry or agriculture.

English and Irish themed bars litter the long seaside strip in the main resort Puerto Del Carmen.

English breakfasts are on sale and the Premier League football matches are shown in bars and cafés.

However the 151,000 population of Lanzarote have become tired of the frequent scenes of rowdy Britons abroad and the Island’s Council has a ‘broad consensus’ to ‘reduce dependence on the British [tourist] market’.

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