Archive for April 29th, 2009
Sand storm on Arona beaches

The secret of good comedy is timing, so full marks to Arona council for announcing new heavy handed rules for all of their beaches, while Tenerife tourism is at an all time low. They intend to ban smoking, drinking and even building sand castles on the beach, with fines ranging from 750 euros to 3,000 euros.

It’s another crackdown aimed at eradicating the seedy and illegal practices that go on at, and around the beach areas. I can see where they are aiming with the last two, they want to wipe out the regular bottle parties “botellons” held by youngsters at weekends and holidays, and the sand thing is about the sculptures (some of them very impressive) that people build at the back of the beaches to appeal for money from passers by.

The trouble is the tourism horse hasn’t just bolted, it’s galloping at a fair rate like in the opening titles to Black Beauty. British tabloids could have a field day with this, just after The Sun claimed that Mount Teide could be about to blow its top. Local traders are not best amused by the announcement, the only time the sand is peppered with people these days is on bank holidays when mainland Spanish and Tenerife North descend with cool bags and picnics, and clear the supermarkets.

Banning beach smoking for pollution reasons is a very emotive issue and could have been better handled. The tourist information offices are already giving out blue plastic “ice cream cones” to plant in the sand, with a flip top for ash and the eventual dog end. More publicity and bigger collection points near the rubbish bins might have a brought more sympathetic response.

Arona has some of the best beaches in Tenerife, a wonderful life guard and disabled bathing service, and a struggling beachfront economy, let’s hope the tide will turn soon.