Corujo says Lanzarote does want Brit tourists and blames the media for the controversy
The president of the Lanzarote Cabildo, Dolores Corujo, has finally responded to requests to clarify the controversy over her statements at the FITUR and ITB tourism fairs, where she clearly declared that Lanzarote was saturated by tourists and that they need to go towards quality tourism and be less dependent on the British market.
Corujo says, in an open letter sent to the press, under the title ‘A false controversy about British tourism’, that "it is completely false that the island of Lanzarote doesn’t want British tourists or that we want to reduce their number. So I will say it once, and clearly, British tourists have always been, are, and always will be, welcome in Lanzarote”.
In the letter, the president says that she is saddened by "the false controversy" and adds that "it has been fuelled by misinformation." She refers to the fact that some media have taken her comments out of context, and that others have “intentionally misrepresented" her words at FITUR, stating that "the controversy has been encouraged by a media outlet on the island that is owned by a hotelier with a judicial demolition order against one of its establishments”, referring to Lancelot Digital in Lanzarote.
Apart from the fact that the premise behind her letter is that the best form of defence is attack, that the press is to blame for everything, and that she didn’t say what is being published (twice!), the truth is that the Lanzarote tourism business community, which is part of FET, tour operators and airlines, including the largest British operator Jet2, have publicly demanded that she clarify her statements, and the Tourism Association of Lanzarote even distanced themselves from her.
However, it is important to remember, that the first person to criticise the appropriateness of the president's statements at FITUR was one of her advisors, the Secretary of Communication for Unidas Podemos, Yurena Corujo, in an article entitled "A hypocritically saturated island."
The president of the Cabildo continues by saying in her letter that "we defend that it is not possible to continue increasing the number of tourist beds since the tourist carrying capacity of the island is exhausted", a debate on sustainable development that practically no one questions in Lanzarote.
In this sense, she adds that “betting on increasing beds is going to overcrowd the destination and, not only worsens the quality of life of residents but the tourist experience itself. For this reason, we want to officially declare the tourist carrying capacity of the island exhausted and, at the same time, bet on a rational and lasting development based on quality, not quantity.”
The island's tourism representatives understand that the discussion on the carrying capacity of the island and sustainable development is a necessary debate that has to take place, but not precisely within the framework of an International Tourism Fair that can cause, as it did, the message to be misinterpreted, a message that was probably only for internal use by the president herself and her party, the PSOE, wanting to raise the flag of environmentalism and sustainable development.
However, during the remainder of Dolores Corujo’s term as president, the largest hotel on the island of Lanzarote will be completed in the next few months, a 4-star resort in the tourist town of Playa Blanca with 720 rooms and a capacity of 1,500 tourist beds. More contradiction? Respectfully Sra. Corujo, you can’t shoot the messenger.
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