Today’s blog is a personal view from a friend who is the manager of a luxury hotel on the island.
Most days, if not everyday, I hear my hotel guests say: “it’s OK it’s Ibiza” but “is it ACTUALLY OK because it’s Ibiza?”
Taxis – my guests battle most nights to leave the hotel on time to get to their extremely expensive restaurant reservation. The answer we get from drivers: oh there’s not enough drivers in Ibiza. My point is WHY? My guests response….. “it’s OK it’s Ibiza”
Restaurants – there are some amazing restaurants on the island at reasonable prices but the majority of the ones my guests go to are hugely overpriced. I have heard of one charging 130 euros for a plate of lobster pasta. If this was anywhere else outside of a major city in the world it wouldn’t be acceptable, but hey “it’s OK it’s Ibiza” I hear them say.
Superclubs – it’s been well documented over the summer that some clubs on the island charge 20 euros for a soft drink. How can that be allowed? The party goers this year have finally started waking up, I saw a tweet in August saying ’16 euros for a Fanta, thanks Ibiza!’ But all I hear from my guests is “it’s OK it’s Ibiza”
Hotels – this is my area of knowledge and our pricing is similar to airlines. It’s supply versus demand, what our competitors are doing whilst throwing in the weather forecast but in my opinion the extreme prices such as the month of August makes Ibiza a very expensive place to stay. This is why companies such as Airbnb are becoming more popular, so rather than booking a traditional hotel room people are starting to look for places with character, smart apartments or even staying on moored boats in marinas. Saying all of that I spend a lot of my time in my hotel lobby and upon check in people spend even more money by upgrading to a sea view, or one with a terrace. Upgraded rooms can start with a supplement of up to 200 euros per NIGHT and guess what words get uttered between couples at check in: “it’s OK it’s Ibiza”.
However recent reports are showing a slowdown in the number of visitors to island year on year. Why? In my view there are many reasons such as other destinations becoming more popular again, global weather is becoming better (just look at the UK this summer – over 30 days of temperatures similar to Ibiza) but the one major reason IMO is that the island in some parts is becoming almost inaccessible to the ‘normal’ person.
I acknowledge that the top end of travel is booming on the island. For example large villa rentals and the super car hire companies have reported a 10% growth year in year but this is niche market. I spoke to one private bodyguard who says he is turning away work as he is so busy and the expensive restaurants are still packed but the genuine rich and famous don’t worry about money…. or do they?
So is it really “OK because it’s Ibiza” or is it time for the authorities to take a long hard look at itself and start re-evaluating whether this amazing island is sustainable for the future or will it just be a playground for the rich and famous in August while conveniently forgetting it’s original roots as an affordable holiday destination for all?
The verdict is still pending…..