The doctor in Social Anthropology for there University of La Laguna (ULL) Agustin Santana warn that he tourism sector “it is saturated” and there are certain areas where there are increasingly more people”, which affects the local population and their way of life on the ground, as pleasant al system. “We are killing the gallina de los huevos de oro because we don’t know how to stop”, she warns in a report published by the University of La Laguna.
Santana, is also director of Pasos, Revista de Turismo y Patrimonio Cultural, and member of the research groups Pesca, Turismo y Gestión de Recursos Naturales (Pescatur) and Laboratorio de Análisis del Turismo (Turilab), and criticizes that he is capable of “ Demomization” the system when certain reflections are made. “We have to take a critical look inside and at the tourist and economic model, stop at points and invert in an analysis of the future. Y es es algo que no se hace, ni si quiera en la propia universidad”, he admits, “ya se por trabas politicas ou por self-complacencia”.
Agustín Santana refers to the data of the Government of Canarias, which recognized at the end of the last year that if the future tourist planning planned in the archipelago was carried out, the islands had 500,000 plazas compared to 700,000, which would mean having to accommodate 22 .3 million tourists. “We have to start talking about population limits, carrying capacity for islands, something that has already been implemented in destinations like Hawaii and Malta, but especially in Hawaii, an archipelago that depends, for all, on the external environment ”, says the professor of Anthropology at ULL. He defends the Canarian mass tourist model, but with fewer visitors, so that the occupation model would be something more sustainable.
The tourist who visits the islands, mostly of medium purchasing level, knows that it works because he is in the hands of the tour operators, who “are filling the hotels”, and that changing this dynamic requires “brave” and long-term planning a goal that in Canarias “has never been achieved”. When it comes to planning, Agustín Santana abounds, he has to account for a series of factors that “have come into play” such as waste generation, carbon dioxide, water, renewable energy or social costs. In addition to other “rights”, from the improvement of the customer experience process, associated with technology and tourist intelligence, the coexistence with our established collaborative models, the adequate management of macro data or the achievement of a greater tourist offer sustainable to build itself into a differentiated destination.
The ULL professor highlights that “the client comes to Canarias fundamentally for the climate, but also to enjoy the surrounding activities, the complementary offer which, although it is very dispersed, is of very good quality because its range of Prices are very wide and adapt to the type of customer who visits us.” Here is one of the strengths of the Canary Islands destination: the complementary services, “if we compare them with other destinations, they are very good”, and that is “something that is small, but our accommodation system is very good, the quality and the service provided is also his son.” But the key to achieving “quality tourism”, he states, involves protecting the surroundings: “Today it is inconceivable to attract tourists to a destination without thinking about the repercussion that their entry could have on the territory”. However, the construction of mass tourism, “when many more visitors arrive, better, leads to the construction of more infrastructures of all types and clashes head-on with the conception of a more respectful model that defends sociocultural identity and the protection of the environment ”.
Agustín Santana points out that in an archipelago that houses four national parks, and in which six islands and a massif, the Anaga mountain range, have been declared a Biosphere Reserve, it is necessary to “replant certain things”. For example, it is known that Fuerteventura, which is a Biosphere Reserve, has a tourist rate per inhabitant and a day that triples that of Tenerife, and this has started to generate “social and economic problems that are being covered because the economy has to work, but the best in another way”. “It’s not about talking from legislature to legislature, it’s about talking about environmental problems that are both endogenous and exogenous and planning long-term solutions”, insists the ULL professor. It also takes place in the situation of another Biosphere Reserve, the Macizo de Anaga, in Tenerife, which suffers from “saturation of coaches and people”. In addition to the “necessary regulation” of access, he considers that there are “many vacation rentals, built as second residences that have been declared vacation rentals”, which means that “the sociocultural change that has taken place in the area is tremendous”. Regarding the vacation rental, he indicates that statements like “redistributing wealth” are something that “falls very handsome”, but today “this message has completely distorted”.
The ULL research group did a study every year with the figures from the company that analyzed data from the Airbnb platform and confirmed that, using the islands, there were managers who took over 100 houses, 200 and even 250, However, those with less than 10 “represented practically nothing in terms of number of beds”.