STORY: Holding placards reading "People live here" and "We don't want to see our island die", demonstrators said changes must be made to the tourism industry that accounts for 35% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the Canary Islands archipelago.

"We can't cope with all this, it's too much, too much for such a small island," protester Sara Ines Marrero said of the model of mass tourism. "We also fight for decent housing, not to have to pay excessively high rents, just to be on our own land," she added.

The organisations say local authorities should temporarily limit visitor numbers to alleviate pressure on the islands' environment, infrastructure and housing stock, and put curbs on property purchases by foreigners.

Among the protesters were six people on hunger strike, who attended the gathering on wheelchairs. The collective, based in La Laguna, is opposed to a hotel construction project on the beach of La Tejita, south of the Island of Tenerife. Saturday was their 10th day on hunger strike.

Authorities in the islands are concerned about the impact on locals. A draft law expected to pass this year toughening the rules on short lets follows complaints from residents priced out of the housing market.

Foreign visitors to the Canary Islands, an archipelago of 2.2 million people, reached 13.9 million in 2023, 13.1% more than in 2022, according to official data.