Tourists having sex in the dunes is ruining a Spanish beach

Overtourism is recurrently blamed for choking historic cities, protecting world-famous sights in trash, and killing native life in vacationer hotspots internationally. Now vacationers having intercourse is alleged to be behind the gradual destruction of a seaside and nature reserve in Europe.

The Dunas de Maspalomas Particular Nature Reserve, on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, is understood for its wild sand dunes rippling out behind its lighthouse perched on the seafront, and recurrently tops the lists of issues to see on the island.

Its dunes — which have been legally protected since 1982 — are one of many final remaining shifting dune techniques in Europe, present a resting spot for birds migrating between Africa and Europe.

However now it is offering a special type of relaxation spot, with vacationers taking to the dunes to get frisky.

A brand new paper within the Journal of Environmental Administration — “Sand, Solar, Sea and Intercourse with Strangers, the ‘5 S’s. Characterizing ‘cruising’ exercise and its environmental impacts on a protected coastal dunefield” — appears to be like for the primary time on the environmental affect on the coastal reserve getting used as a cruising space.

Researchers inventoried 298 “intercourse spots” on the seaside, over a complete space of over two sq. miles, primarily amongst “bushy and dense vegetation” and nebkhas — dunes that wad up round vegetation. They studied them throughout Might 2018, a interval which included the native Homosexual Pleasure pageant.

The vacationers’ intercourse, and “cruiser trampling,” impacts “instantly” not solely on the nebkhas, but additionally on eight native plant species, three of that are endemic, they discovered.


Vacationers trample over the vegetation, take away crops and sand, make their very own “nests” — even fencing them off — and dump waste together with cigarettes, condoms, rest room paper, wipes and cans.

In addition they use the dunes as a rest room, with researchers discovering “urination and defecation areas.”

The extra distant the intercourse spot is, the extra it had been used and the extra trash was left in it, researchers observed. Though the authorities depart trash luggage in a few of the bigger areas, they have been usually full.

Even the dunes’ “exclusion zone” — which is totally off-limits to the general public, the place different areas are restricted — was discovered to have 56 intercourse spots.

On account of the vacationers’ actions, there was a “full abandonment” of environmental training within the reserve, in line with the research. The reserve was initially created with training as a “main exercise.”

What’s extra, Gran Canaria large lizards — a preferred sight within the Canary islands — have “died after consuming condoms left behind by pleasure seekers,” wrote Patrick Hesp, one of many report’s authors, in an article for The Dialog.

Internet hosting as much as 14 million guests a 12 months, Gran Canaria is a gay-friendly vacationer vacation spot, with guests from the U.S., U.Ok. and Germany among the many major markets, and whereas the authors are fast to emphasise that there’s “no intention to criticize a few of the LGBTI group,” and burdened that it was not simply LGBTQ guests having intercourse within the dunes, they observe that “cruising is overtly practiced” on Maspalomas.

Coastal dune techniques are an important a part of the marine panorama, however have been used to draw tourism all over the world — with devastating penalties, the authors write.

“Their degradation, in lots of instances, has been a direct consequence of tourism growth,” reads the paper.

As Hesp wrote in his separate article: “We’re not calling for an finish to public intercourse — however we do need folks to concentrate on the injury it could actually do.”

One couple having intercourse on the seaside, he wrote, is one factor; however having a whole lot converge on the identical space day-after-day damages the dunes as a lot as off-road driving does.

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