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Canary Islands tourism warning as officials say 'something is wrong'

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dailyrecord.co.uk

Authorities of the Canary Islands are concerned about poor living standards for locals, despite being a major tourist destination.The archipelago is one of Spain's biggest holiday attractions, bringing in millions of visitors annually.

Its seven main islands include Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and despite generating major revenue, poverty for residents is spiralling.That's according to Fernando Clavijo, president of the Canary Islands Government, who this week urged the "leading industry" tourism sector to help others like agriculture to achieve a better redistribution of wealth.A staggering 36 percent of the population of the islands is thought to be at risk of poverty and social exclusion, a figure that amounts to almost 780,000 people, the Express reports.Casimiro Curbelo, currently President of the Cabildo de La Gomera (ASG), said he was against calls to change the current model of tourism on the islands but was in favour of improving it to "achieve excellence".He suggested that he was extremely surprised that the Canary Islands are getting stronger every day in the tourist sector, but that society is getting poorer and that the need to find out "what is wrong" was at an all-time high.

Last year, spending from tourism on the islands mounted to €22million (£18million).Mr Clavijo insisted that the tourism sub-sector "must be aware" that it has a "responsibility" to society, given that it exploits a "landscape" that "belongs to everyone".

In this context, he pointed out that the public administrations must "help".Some programmes that were put in place to help alleviate poverty through tourism are now being revived.

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