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Amnesty or Demolition for Lanzarote Hotels

May 19, 2008
The island of Lanzarote is one of the most visited of the Canary Islands. Each year, millions of tourists visit Lanzarote on holiday. There are numerous resorts and hotels on the island, some of which stand in no-build zones.

The Canary Islands Supreme Court has ruled that 22 hotels were illegally built. The Lanzarote council now must make the tough decision: amnesty or demolition.

Among the 22 hotels facing possible demolition are eight five-star hotels, 10 small hotels and four that are currently under construction. In all, the 22 hotels contain 7,721 rooms or apartments used by tourists. Some of the more well-known hotels awaiting the decision are Melia Volcan, Gran Castillo and Royal Son Bou.

Royal Son Bou Lanzarote is located on the beautiful, white sandy beaches of Playa Blanca. It is a five-star hotel with accommodation suitable for everyone in the family.

Each of its rooms offers great views of the sea from a private terrace. The resort offers three restaurants, two bars, squash courts, two swimming pools and a theater that seats 1,500 people. The destruction of this hotel alone would be a devastating blow to tourism.

The coming weeks will reveal whether the hotels will be demolished or granted amnesty. The decision will not be easy to make, and people will have mixed emotions either way.

The biggest concern is the effect the decision could potentially have on the 2008-2009 tourism season.

Thousands of tourists already have reservations at the 22 hotels and resorts in question. If the hotels are demolished, those with current reservations will be required to make new arrangements or cancel current plans.

Due to the obvious size limitations of the island, in 2000, the council limited the number of new hotels that could be built. Overcrowding and disturbance of the biosphere reserve must take priority to preserve the current quality of life on Lanzarote. The 22 hotels that have already been deemed illegally built have crossed that line. Lanzarote's ecosystem must be preserved if the island is to continue to thrive according to the authorities.. Overcrowding could become a serious problem if building codes aren't followed.

Destruction of the 22 hotels will leave hundreds of local citizens out of work and have a very large negative impact on tourism. Lanzarote's local economy relies heavily on tourism.

Carlos Espino, a socialist Lanzarote councilor, said: 'These councils broke the order which we had put in place to preserve the island, which is a biosphere reserve. We will not have an amnesty. We will knock down what we have to.'

The council's decision will not be taken lightly by groups on either side of the fence, no matter what the final say is. The council must take every minute detail of the case into consideration.

Lanzarote has seen a lot of ups and downs during its existence. Whatever the outcome of this ordeal, the island will continue to thrive as a heavily travelled tourist destination.

Its location makes it the perfect holiday spot for tourists from Britain, mainland Spain and other surrounding areas. Another theory is the possibility of property prices on the island rising again due to the possible demolition of these 22 hotels.

Many Brits have been purchasing villas on Lanzarote as well as the other Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. According to one real estate agent, a famous pop star was looking at a nice townhouse in recent months. The rumour mill seems to suggest it could have been Sir Elton John, who was visiting the Canary Islands during that time frame, but there is no confirmation yet of the rumour.
About the Author
For holiday information about Lanzarote, including a map of Lanzarote visit yourlanzarote.net

For British tourists worried about the drop in value of Sterling against the Euro the guide has both cheap flights to Lanzarote and cheap holiday in Lanzarote travel companies.
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