British holidaymakers in Spain have been met with a stark message to "go home" as tensions rise over tourism levels. The Spanish government has stepped in amid growing discontent among residents of the Canary Islands, where locals in Tenerife and Lanzarote are increasingly frustrated with the impacts of "overtourism".

The situation has escalated to the point where protests are being organised on the islands, with the Spanish housing crisis adding fuel to the fire. With only 2.4% of housing in Spain being public, a figure significantly lower than the European average of 9%, locals are demanding action. You can get the latest WalesOnline newsletters e-mailed to you directly for free by signing up here.

Isabel Rodriguez, the Housing Minister, has indicated that the government is ready to take decisive measures. Speaking to Cadena Ser Radio, Ms Rodriguez announced plans for potential government intervention to curb the proliferation of holiday apartments, acknowledging a deficit of 1.5 million homes in public housing.

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Despite the shortfall, Ms Rodriguez remains optimistic, suggesting that addressing the housing issue could lead to more reasonable rental and property prices. Meanwhile, Jorge Marichal, president of the regional hotel association ASHOTEL, expressed his understanding of the local sentiment during an interview with COPE, a Spanish radio station.

The Canary Islands, along with other destinations such as Ibiza, Menorca, Majorca, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, and Seville, continue to attract millions of British tourists annually, highlighting the ongoing allure of Spain's diverse regions for UK travellers, reports Birmingham Live.

Marichal stated: "It pains me because people confuse the message. We don't have to be anti-tourist. What we have to do is demand infrastructures in accordance with the tourist model that's been chosen." He made these comments as he spoke out ahead of planned protests on April 20.

He further explained to the radio: "And we have to understand that the tourist model has changed because of technology and Airbnb and the fact property owners have converted those properties into businesses with very lax regulation and that the growth in the amount of tourist accommodation has not been matched by the investment in infrastructure."