The New Ibiza – No Kids Allowed

The Ibiza press has been full of stories and opinions this week about high hotel prices, the lack of tourists in local bars/restaurants and all while the airport is continually posting record figures. It's hard to see how the the 3 things aren't related.

The profile of a 'holiday' has dramatically changed over the last few years. Low cost carriers like Ryanair (which is Spains biggest airline btw) plus the big hotel booking websites means that travel agents are no longer required for a quick weekend away on the White Isle and your credit card is burning a hole in your pocket. The results are clear to see: Busy weekends and little else. Fine if you live in a 52 week resort but not so good if you have 100 days to make your money and survive until next May.

As Ibiza prices continue to rise to ludicrous levels many hotels have changed their strategy by becoming 'Adults-Only' targeting the 'Dinkys'. DINK stands for Double Income No Kids (obviously), these are the people who have a decent annual income and love to flash the cash on expensive weekends away where their social media timeline will get as much a hammering as their wallet.

This type of tourism led to Playa d'en Bossa sounding the death knell for the traditional Ibiza family holiday when 'Fiestalandia' gradually became 'Ushuaia-landia' transforming from a paradise resort for families to a paradise playground for adults. It's 2 mile strip full of beach clubs, hotels, bars and a couple of world class clubs means its now referred to in the same breath as Las Vegas and the analogy isn't far wrong with only the creaking waterpark left as a monument to a bygone family-friendly era.

Even Portinatx, that bastion of family values and for many years a Thomson Holidays (remember them?) stronghold will soon have only 1 hotel offering places for kids, the others have changed into yellow-toweled hotel/clubs offering beach beds and mojitos to those who want to experience the real Ibiza (i.e. not go to San An or Bossa).

The new Ibiza only allows for kids in certain areas such as Port des Torrent or Cala Tarida or Cala San Vicente, well out of the way in all-inclusive hotels where they can be controlled and drink sugary refreshments to the their hearts content. Ibiza's towns and ports are now reserved exclusively for those that can afford a weekend away and the inflated prices that comes with it.

With Spain's most expensive hotel rooms Ibiza now has a reputation for its prices rather than its beauty and with this short term, purely profit driven strategy its difficult to see the bubble not bursting. History has shown that what goes up must come down but in the meantime lets hope that the next 2 generations of potential Ibiza lovers haven't been disenfranchised so much that they decide to permanently take their valuable business elsewhere. Children tend to have long memories.

No long term strategy to respect and retain your core market can only lead to big problems and as Abraham Lincoln famously said: You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Or as one experienced commentator recently summed up the Ibiza of 2017: Caviar today, hard bread tomorrow.

 

Published by

Martin Makepeace

Englishman living and working in Ibiza since 1991. Entrepreneur with a passion for villas, boats, sunsets and San Antonio. Owner of Ibiza Property Shop.

16 thoughts on “The New Ibiza – No Kids Allowed”

  1. Thanks Martin. This is very insightful. I have also found when trying to find information on what to do with kids in Ibiza, websites direct me to Nanny’s and Childcare, when actually I want to find fun things to do with my kids so I can spend time with them!

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      1. Ocean Mania noooooo! Only if they allow you on without signing the waiver. I broke my leg in three places celebrating the first day of the summer holidays on their circuit. Screws, plates, a three day wait for my emergency operation in Can Misses (due to the lack of professionals coming to the island), now 6 weeks of daily physiotherapy learning to walk again. Not the best way to entertain my children this summer.
        Apart from my break, every child we took to Ocean Mania finished with scratches from the velcro on the badly maintained seams. Some fell directly onto the exposed metal bars of the trampoline where the protective cover was impossible to fit. Definitely do not jump onto the rebound cushion which I feel was under inflated and is where my leg was broken. Imagine if your child had to spend the summer on bed rest. So definitely NOT RECOMMENDING OCEAN MANIA.

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  2. Thanks for your reflexion.
    With my aversion to those young beautiful rich tourists posting in fb with sucked in cheeks and fake breasts…I would prefer downtoearth moms and dads with children having a good time…. but who am I ?!
    I will stay putt on my beloved island and wait for the bubble to burst!
    Hopefully soon…havent got much time left 😉

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  3. Great and accurate as always! Well done Martin, let’s hope it starts to evolve for the better. The one thing for sure is the super rich get bored and move on, already the newly built hotels charging ridiculous high prices are currently half booked and now slashing prices! They should work on the original core and beauty there is now enough hi end establishments for all, bring some attention to the real Ibiza and let the locals earn thier money as well!

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  4. We have customers whe paid 3600 all in 2 weeks in Hawaii Not hard to see why my friends are now heading to Croatia which is being compared to Ibiza 20 years ago

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  5. I live in lovely Es Cana Martin, & even here, what was once a family friendly area, with lots to do for the children, is now more for adults & hotels that have hiked up prices so much that a normal family of 4 can’t afford to come here. As a previous commenter stated, Croatia etc, have become the new place for families as it’s cheaper than here. It comes to something when it’s cheaper to go to Cancun or Dubai than it is to come here. Let’s hope the powers that be see the errors of their greed & make a compromise very soon or the Ibiza we loved will vanish 😢😢

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  6. Good job that 30+ year olds with disposable income are born exactly like that and don’t need the experience of being an 18yr old in ibiza on a budget and falling in love with the island that way.

    No, wait… that’s not right, is it???

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  7. Thanks for this interesting article. They are actually pricing myself and friends. We were going to the same hotel bed and breakfast for 4 years in a row until the price jumped to absolutely ridiculous after their refurbishment. Its a shame that they are forgetting their clients who have probably been going to the same resorts/hotels much longer that we have and now can no longer aford it. We used to be able to go for 10 days for around £800 now for one week they are charging well over £1k. Not against anyone making money but this is rip off. The bubble will burst.

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  8. Hi Martin, I’ve been coming to Ibiza for 30 years and hate the flash trout pout, bigger than you face sunglass emporiums that have sprung up!! I drove down Bossa the other week and thought it’s like Blackpool on steroids!! The real Ibiza is full of rich history and beautiful coves and fantastic people and I have a lot of friends who live and work for those 6 months 12-15hr days to ensure they can get through when all the trouts have gone home!! My little boy loves Ibiza and we will always keep coming back to the real Ibiza with the real people hoping that they survive another year so we can see them next time we’re back!! Leave the Dinky’s in Bossa and the louts in San An and leave the real Ibiza to those that love it, and respect it. Take the hotels back to half board as well to make people come out and experience what the island has to offer.

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  9. In the 80s, I worked as a Thomson Children’s Rep in the hotels Presidente Playa & El Greco. The resort was such a friendly, family resort, with mega-safe bathing, three lovely beaches & footpaths through the woods & up to the lighthouse, where it was a joy to entertain the hundreds of children who “passed through our hands” every summer. This year, the El Greco went ‘adults only’ & the Presidente, sadly, will follow suit next year & it breaks my heart that so few children will now be able to enjoy the delights of holidaying in this little piece of paradise.

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