This weekend thousands of residents in Tenerife and the Canary Islands marched in protest at the unacceptable level of tourism in their country. This has been happening all across Europe for the past few years as governments, local and national, only seem interested in the income brought in by the tourists and not the impact they are having on the people who live in tourist areas.

Because of this Engage became the first resident’s organisation in any city in Europe to be pro-active and attempt to initiate a conversation with our own city authorities to make sure we never get to that level of citizen frustration. Our seminar series in 2021 Destination Liverpool: Tourists versus Residents? ¬†raised the subject where we heard voices from Porto about how they are managing tourism sustainably and Copenhagen where they involve residents at every level of the visitor economy.

Engage has been invited to take part in international conferences to share our story and experience of trying to engage the Destination Marketing Organisation in our city.

This weekend (April 19th-21st 2024) we were reminded that this is an on-going concern in many places and that it is crucial that cities don’t take their resident populations for granted and ignore the often dire consequences of untrammelled tourism which can turn cities into places where residents can no longer afford to rent or buy city centre properties, and where roads are so crowded that it is impossible to walk or cycle unimpeded. We want to continue making Liverpool a welcoming place for tourists of course but that we are at the same time making sure our own citizens benefit from having responsible and sustainable tourism.

 

You can read more about the protests here:

Here’s an article that explores what you can do to be more responsible as a tourist: