Nestled in the heart of the Canaries, Tenerife provides travelers with breathtaking views, rocky shores and vibrant culture. As a surfschool in this paradise, we are privileged to witness the island’s beauty daily. But in our daily life as business owners working in tourism, we’ve come to realize that there’s more to Tenerife than just the warm sun and endless epic waves. There is a kind of tourism that isn’t supporting this island. This can be a contradictory feeling, that is, without pointing fingers, why I’m putting it into words today. Bare with me to the end for a better understanding and to get to know the simple steps of being a tourist with a positive impact.
The purpose of this post is to bring awareness to sustainable tourism so you have a better understanding in how to be able to support and retain Tenerife in the best possible way.
Sustainable tourism in Tenerife
We believe in sustainable tourism – a concept that not only allows visitors to enjoy the beauty of this island but also respects and supports the local community and environment. It’s about embracing a way of traveling that enriches both the guest experience and the lives of those who call this place home.
What we do
At our surfschool, we work with locals, support small businesses, and protect the island’s nature. Choosing us means more than just learning to surf; it means helping the local community and falling in love with this amazing place. How do we make sure you’ll want to come back? We’ll show you the best parts of the island, recommend great coffee spots, connect you with trusted diving instructors or local sailing boats and suggest delicious local food to try. We create an awesome island experience that will leave a lasting impression on you, making you want to return again and again.
What you can do
One of the key aspects of sustainable tourism is to connect with the community. By engaging with locals, travelers gain a deeper understanding of Tenerife’s rich heritage, traditions and way of life. We encourage our guests to explore beyond the tourist hotspots, to taste authentic local cuisine, to choose local touristic experiences over mass touristic traps. We can help you make the conscious choices.
Your curiosity about the local community and its traditions holds great value. Be open to learn about the locals who work hard to keep their traditions alive and support their families despite growing tourism. When you buy their handmade products, dine at family-run restaurants, or join local tours, it’s not just a purchase—it’s a way to protect Tenerife’s genuine character.
Balancing Paradise: The Issue with More Hotels Being Built
As more people choose Tenerife for holidays, more hotels are being built. However, constructing these hotels to accommodate the increasing number of visitors creates a big problem for keeping the island beautiful while also welcoming tourists.
The breathtaking coastlines that draw travelers to our shores are often the very sites where these new hotels emerge. As the foundations of structures take shape, the delicate ecosystems and natural beauty of Tenerife are at risk. The construction of hotels not only change the visual aesthetics but also impacts local habitats, from marine life to the diverse flora and fauna.
This surge in hotel construction also influences the local economy. “But it does provide jobs,” you might say? Yes, that is something that comes to mind first. But, while it does provide jobs, it often leads to a scenario where the benefits aren’t evenly distributed among the community. Small, family-owned businesses face increasing pressure from larger hotel chains, challenging their ability to compete and survive in an industry now dominated by big players.
Moreover, the rise of mass tourism in certain areas threatens to diminish the authentic charm of Tenerife. Visitors seeking genuine experiences may find it increasingly challenging amidst the effects of commercialized spaces designed for mass appeal.
Is it all bad?
No, we believe that sustainable tourism can coexist with careful building practices, involving the community, and protecting the environment as the main focus.
We advocate for a more considerate approach to growth. We stand with initiatives that take action to preserve certain parts of the islands. Quality over quantity, advocating for smaller, environmentally conscious accommodations that integrate harmoniously with the local surroundings. By supporting these establishments, guests can enjoy an authentic Tenerife experience while contributing to a more sustainable future for the island.
So, dear traveler, when you start your trip to Tenerife, consider embracing a different kind of adventure. Join us in discovering the true essence of this island—a place where sustainable tourism and genuine experiences go hand-in-hand.
Here are 5 Things You Can Do to Support Sustainable Tourism in Tenerife
Rent a Car and Explore: Renting a car allows you to venture beyond the hotel, discovering local businesses, hidden spots, and supporting the smaller towns and attractions on the island.
Patronize Local Businesses: Visit local restaurants, markets, and shops rather than sticking solely to tourist-oriented establishments. This supports the local economy and provides a more authentic experience.
Engage in Local Tours and Activities: Participate in tours and activities run by local guides and companies. This not only benefits the local economy but also offers a more authentic perspective of the island.
Respect the Environment: Be mindful of the environment by following designated trails, disposing of waste responsibly, and supporting eco-friendly initiatives. Sustainable tourism helps preserve the island’s beauty for future visitors.
Learn and Respect Local Customs: Embrace the local culture by learning about traditions and respecting local customs. Engaging respectfully with the local community contributes to a more positive and meaningful travel experience.