The biggest transformation in the history of the Canary Islands has taken place in the last few decades, following the tourist boom from the 1960s onwards. A society with a farming, stockbreeding and fishing tradition almost five centuries old became overnight, one of the best known tourist destinations in the world. Tourism has led to the abandonment of the countryside and the uncontrolled exploitation of coastal areas, with the result that marine and coastal ecosystems are also beginning to suffer from land occupation, the destruction of virgin areas, uncontrolled public use and pollution.
Photos: Jonathan Garcia
Tourists join residents in the consumption of resources (water, land, energy, etc.), the generation of waste and the increase in pollution, particularly due to air transport. Likewise, the “all-inclusive” tourist circuits, managed by large tour operators, which attract quantity instead of quality, encourage mass tourism that is not at all respectful of the territory and which, on the other hand, leads to the precariousness of a service sector in which most of the population works, with insufficient salaries and a low level of professionalisation.
At the Foundation we want to support the possibility of a more sustainable tourism model. A model in which quality is given more weight than quantity, based on respect for local culture and which conserves and protects natural resources. We believe in the real diversification of the offer, in specialisation and professionalisation. We defend the creation of circular economies and the limitation of the power of intermediaries so that a fairer and more balanced distribution of wealth is possible, in a way that has a positive impact on the local population without depredating natural resources.