Los Cristianos harbour
The message is clear, the Coastal Department plan to begin the process of expropriation and demolition of illegal buildings in the bay of Los Cristianos, particularly in the Los Tarajales zone.

A meeting was called between José Alberto González, mayor of Arona and local hotel owners to explain the situation and to discuss the improvements which have been in planning for months by The Cabildo, the Canarian Government and the Coastal Department for the stretch between the Barranco de Aquilino and the Playa Chica.

All illegal buildings will be demolished that block or make the public zone difficult. Boats anchored in the bay will be made to leave. The beach will be revamped, extended and walkways improved.

In total, 8 five-star hotels, 10 smaller hotels, and 4 others under construction were declared illegal. Together, they account for 7,721 hotel rooms or apartments on the island. Top-of-the-range hotels that could be pulled down are the Meliá Volcán, Iberostar Papagayo, Gran Castillo, Natura Palace, Rubicón Palace, Papagayo Arena and Son Bou.

A special police unit, which fights organised crime, has been called in to investigate whether the former mayors of Teguise and Yaiza issued illegal building licences in return for back-handers from property developers.

Business groups in the area say pulling down 22 hotels will leave hundreds out of work and hit the tourist trade hard.