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Lobos Charges Entry

A "secret" island in the Canaries is to charge tourists for the right to visit due to fears that it is being spoilt by thousands of sightseers.

 

The Isla de Lobos is just a short boat ride from the better known holiday destination of Fuerteventura and is thought to have a history stretching back to Roman times.

It is less than five square kilometres, and has only a handful of facilities, but at one stage it became so fashionable that protest groups were counting as many as 2,000 tourists on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitor numbers also shoot up at Christmas and Easter.

Furious environmentalists said many of the boats being used to transport holidaymakers were illegal and it was becoming "an obligation" for anyone staying on Fuerteventura to visit Lobos free of charge but without making any sort of contribution in return.

The tiny island is rich in marine life and local species of plants and birds, but apart from that, campaigners say there is nothing for tourists to do except "picture opportunities," which are ruining it.

Island leaders have already capped visitor numbers

Island leaders had already slapped a visitor limit - no more than 200 visitors at any one time - but this was being ignored.

Now, the restrictions are to be tightened up even further, together with a charge for anyone who wants to step foot on the protected land.

Fuerteventura's local government has confirmed that the tighter controls over the number of visitors will come into force from the first fortnight of 2019.

A spokesman said: "With the 200 limit in mind, the aim is to guarantee the preservation of this unique space and natural park"

 

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