President of the Canary Islands Fernando Clavijo said in an interview with newspaper El Pais: “We have to define our model. It must be capped at millions of tourists. We have to set a limit that is respectful of our environment and that does not deteriorate and end up killing our added value, which is nature, space and quality we offer. We will have to work to make sure those tourists who do visit still leave behind resources on the islands.”
The Canaries last year reached more than 13 million visitors and tourism accounts for 30% of regional gross domestic product.
The population of the Balearic Islands is just over 1 million people and Balearics rely on tourism for 85% of their income. The government has said in 2013 it plans to re-introduce an “eco-tax” on tourists that had been in place between 2001 and 2003, though travel companies are opposed to this measure.