Canarians are getting tired of disrespectful tourists mistreating the environment
The Timanfaya National Park, renowned for its lava flows, witnessed an unauthorized incursion by dozens of tourists on Tuesday (January 9th), according to a formal complaint lodged by the Professional Association of Tourist Interpreters/Guides (APIT) of Lanzarote. This protected natural area attracted a staggering 1.4 million visitors in 2022, making it the fourth most-visited national park in the whole of Spain.
APIT drew attention to the incident through a video posted on its official Instagram page, revealing a procession of vehicles halted along a road within the protected space. The occupants were seen trespassing on ecologically sensitive and perilous terrain, laden with sharp rocks, looking for stones to collect.
The video captured the dismay of the observer, who voiced concerns about the disrespect shown by the tourists engaging in these activities.
It is illegal to collect stones, rocks, plants or pine cones from National Parks in Spain
The Ministry of Ecological Transition's National Parks Network explicitly prohibits access and circulation off designated roads and paths, as well as stopping or parking vehicles outside designated areas. Furthermore, the collection of plants, animals, or rocks of any kind or size is strictly forbidden.
The APIT post expressed frustration with the lack of awareness and respect for the island's beauty and fragility. The association emphasised the dependence of both the local economy and individual livelihoods on the preservation of the environment.
They called for continuous education initiatives targeting visitors and tourists, stressing the need for stringent penalties to deter such environmental transgressions.
Using the incident as a platform, APIT criticized the established mass tourism model in Lanzarote, asserting that it adversely affects the well-being of the local population. They highlighted a decline in quality of life parallel to the surge in both population and tourist numbers. The association issued a cautionary note, stating that persisting with the current mass tourism model could lead to detrimental consequences for the community in the years to come.
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