‘Instagramism’ not Hedonism in Ibiza

Over the last few years we have witnessed the biggest change ever to the Ibiza tourist demographic, especially in May, June, September and October when the weekend tourist has become the dominant  player in the market.

It’s the market segment that everyone wants a piece of, 25-50 year olds travelling without kids and focusing on a long weekend of fun with a pocketful of money to spend. 

Only a few years ago this was the scenario when booking a holiday

  1. Book a 7 or 14 night package holiday with a travel agent. 
  2. Buy a travel guide and read it before bed.
  3. Arrive in Ibiza, go to welcome meeting and book an excursions/club tickets from your rep or local outlet. 
  4. Discover Ibiza at your leisure via research or word of mouth/recommendations. 
  5. Spend your hard earned money on a mixture of local restaurants, cheesy bars and world class clubs. 

Fast forward to 2018 and this is more likely be the scenario

  1. Follow all major Ibiza clubs and events on social media
  2. Identify dates when desired Ibiza events are happening
  3. Pre-book all club tickets
  4. Pre-book restaurant reservations and beach beds 
  5. Book a dynamic package online, fly to Ibiza for long weekend with pocket full of cash

The social media age means that there are no secrets anymore plus everything is pre-planned and pre-booked for busy itineraries that leave little to chance in the short window of opportunity that a 4 day trip to Ibiza allows.

The big Ibiza players now spend millions on their social media, spoon feeding the herd with all the necessary calls to action: Big opening parties, special guests, one-off parties. The cyber-sell is constant and goes direct to your smartphone when you are on the bus in the morning, during your lunch break at work and just before you settle down to watch your evening soaps.

Once this demographic arrive on the island their itinerary goes into full swing with little time for anything else. No discovering delicious local restaurants or souvenir shopping for local wares, nothing that isn’t near the major tourist traps. Very little spontaneity.

And then it gets really strange. Enjoying yourself now ranks a poor second behind updating your own social media feed. After all you’ve spent the last 11 months being inundated with Ibiza spam directly to your smartphone and tablet and now it’s your turn to personally get involved. Facebook posts, check-ins, Instagram stories, posts and tweets. At any big event most phones are switched to live feed. And by the way I’m as guilty as anyone…”my name is Martin and I’m addicted to social media”.

The successful businesses in Ibiza are those that understand the need for social media, embrace it and force it down your throat, those that don’t are falling by the wayside.  Who doesn’t like an Ibiza summer pic on a cold rainy December day? This creates the desire to do it yourself, whether it be a sunset pic, feet up on a boat, a magnum of champagne at a beach club or body glitter at your favourite evening club, these are the things that are a quintessential part of Ibiza in the early part of the 21st century. Bragging rights now determine which businesses succeeds, Ibiza is social media gold after all.

No wonder the old school shake their collective heads at the Ibiza of 2018 because for the new generation, weaned on reality TV and smartphones, hedonism has now been replaced by ‘Instagramism’ and the search for that perfectly staged profile pic has become more important than the actual experience behind it.

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.

11 thoughts on “‘Instagramism’ not Hedonism in Ibiza”

  1. As always Martin a perfect analysis and as my old Business School Professor would say “There’s no profit in looking backwards for a better tomorrow.”

    Or that other wise old boy, Winston Churchill said, regularly, “Keep Buggering on and don’t Bugger it up!”


  2. Great article. Think many of us are guilty of this to a small degree just wish the youngsters would learn that we don’t need to see every flipping second of the ‘Dance’ event they went to where they didn’t dance.


  3. Hi Martin,
    this is another excellent article.
    Although it is a general problem it has become very observable in ibiza. Some years ago thousends of people used to party at clubs an few professionals (if at all) took picutes. Today there are 1000 photograhers and no party people.
    I read some interesing articles about this phenomen. Today the picture is more valurable than the actual thing or event. People are not ready to explore, everything is precheckd and programmed. The programming is the main task and can be done from everywhere. Being on site is only the fullfilment of the carefully arranged plan. The story for insta has been written before. No time to wase for exploring, no time for taking to PRs on the street (less anoying than facebook adds!)
    I really don’t know what to do! On the one hand I’m very fond of social media and like to share my experiences with others On the other hand I think the other analog world is more fun. And even if I decided to stick to the old world, it is no use if everybody around me does differently.


    1. It’s a conundrum. The reason you are reading this is because of social media yet instead of it adding to the experience it appears to be taking over the experience. The addiction to likes is very dangerous.


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