Why Does San Antonio’s Council Dislike British Tourism So Much?

The new noise laws for San Antonio means all bars & clubs in the West End area need to close by 3am and terraces removed by 12am midnight. This only applies to the West End which is a few blocks wide but makes up the heart of San An’s ‘old town’.

To get the new law passed through as quickly as possible before summer 2018 the 3-party coalition council has designated the West End area a ‘zone of special acoustic protection’ due to consistent high noise levels during the summer.

The West End and San Antonio’s relies heavily on British tourism, around 75% of all tourists who visit the town are British and many are youngsters aged 18-25 experiencing their first overseas holiday drawn to Ibiza by it’s sun and fun reputation coupled with world class clubs and the biggest names in dance music. They come to San An because it’s ticks all the boxes for their demographic and budget and many come back over and over again progressively upgrading

San Antonio has always been a gateway for this type of tourist, those that can’t afford the big bucks options that other resorts and islands offer. It’s always been this way because this is what the local hotels cater for. San Antonio only has three 4 star hotels in the whole town and this is reflected in those that come here. Even though local hotels have had a dramatic reformation over the last 15 years they are still a million miles away from being termed as ‘world class’.

So unless a raft of 5 star beach resorts open in the next 10 years then San An will keep offering the same type of rooms at reasonable rates that attract a certain demographic, the same demographic that Valdes and his honchos from the fun Police clearly don’t want. Even if the big hotel chains wanted to create a 5 star wonderland the socialist island government has a building ban in place so nothing will get built in the next few years plus it’s currently taking over 2 years to apply and obtain a licence to reform an existing hotel.

For those who come to San An and don’t have the cash to book VIP tables at Ibiza’s super clubs, the West End offers drinks and bright lights that is a beacon for fun at a very reasonable price. Love it or loathe it, it has always had a place in the Island’s dynamic….until now.

Over the last few years its sad to say but the West End has gone downhill fast, quickly degenerating into a ghetto where police are rarely seen leaving a lawless vacuum. The West End’s failure to police itself has resulted in 3 major problems:

1. Unscrupulous bar operators and their PRs forcing cheap drinks deals on naive youngsters who end up in a drunken state.

2. Organised prostitutes on every corner hassling passers by and robbing those too drunk to notice or defend themselves

3. The same gangs of pickpockets waiting near the Taxi rank on a nightly basis preying on young tourists just out to have a good time.

4. The ‘looky looky’ men are now peddling laughing gas to naive youngsters, even though it’s illegal and leaves a mess behind the local authorities don’t seem too interested in tackling the problem.

These issues are not dissimilar to many other Mediterranean resorts however rather than confront the criminals and the lawbreakers Deputy Mayor Valdés has declared war on the bars of the West End so in turn will penalise those tourists who frequent and enjoy them, the majority of which are British.

Sr Valdés clearly dislikes the tourism that San Antonio has thrived on for decades and has used the complaints of ‘147’ residents to justify his actions. Let that sink in a minute: 147 residents who live in an area that is famous for bars and has been for nearly 50 years. 147 residents in a town that relies 100% on tourism. 147 residents who need to be protected but also who live in the middle of a ghost town for 7-8 months a year. Their petition of just 170 signatures has been taken more seriously than the 1300 presented by the market stall holders and my own of over 2000 asking for action against the aggressive street sellers, I didn’t even get a reply.

You couldn’t really make it up but that’s the conundrum of San Antonio, a council that constantly bites the hand that feeds it and who yearn for those ‘nice’ families and middle aged/elderly couples who choose to visit Santa Eulalia for 4-6 months a year.

While Sr Valdés focusses his iré on British tourists, culling the enjoyment of youngsters and ruining the livelihoods of many honest bar owners (Spanish and foreign) the true criminals haven’t been mentioned so will be free to roam around and do their ill deeds with very little Police presence.

This is unforgivable: this council who love to take away but give nothing back. 147 residents may be affected by the extra noise for 4 months but how many young tourists are affected on a weekly basis by the unchallenged criminals. Many more than 147 I would imagine but they aren’t voters are they and they were probably drunk so ‘deserved’ it in the eyes of this council.

Without doubt San An needs cleaning up and that’s the elected council’s job but address the real issues first rather than target legitimate businesses built up over decades, who employ many and add to the town. San An has plenty of problems that need addressing but a few extra decibels for 4 months a year isn’t the real issue here.

Author: Martin Makepeace

Englishman living and working in Ibiza since 1991. Entrepreneur with a passion for villas, boats, sunsets and San Antonio. Read my blogs, listen to my podcasts and catch me on Radio One Mallorca every Tuesday morning.

8 thoughts on “Why Does San Antonio’s Council Dislike British Tourism So Much?”

  1. People being voted into jobs that they are so unqualified for, just because the have the right surname. Have they presented and 5 year plan with what they are going to do and what they have to invest in this area ? as they surely want to change it . I bet the answers are no and nothing, great shame this is a problem that has been created over the past few years from people in the wrong jobs for the wrong reasons and that covers all from the head of police to the politicians..


  2. I find it discracesful that someone of your influence in San an would put the three main problems with the west end as number 1 problem out of three being PRs???!?? Number two And three being pickpockets and prostitutes. The drug dealing often aggressive looky looky men don’t even get a top three!! It’s so small minded and shows just how little time people who write tosh like this actually spend on the west end. So someone offering drinks cheaper than the next bar is worse than prostitutes, drug dealers and pickpockets, in a place where you yourself earlier in the article states the people that go to the west end can’t afford the five star lifestyle!!! You want to write an article about the west end then spend time on it, not just a walkaround now and again, a full night. I know the article is kind of pro the west end but can’t you see that statements like prs. are the number one problem is just as damaging to the west end buisneses your trying to support as 90 % of them still use prs to boost business.


  3. great piece, so sad to see a few people running what was for many years the main hub for fun and a great night out, i can see in a year or é certain people begging for the tourists to come back
    hope its not to late by then!


  4. Makes my blood boil to be honest! Morons! When tne town dies and no economy they will be crying as they besten
    Beaten in the street by the looky looky and street thieves!


  5. The sad thing about it, is that rather than attracting the affluent families they desire, all they will do is attract a wealthier more self entitled breed of assholes with zero regard for anyone other than themselves.


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