You have to be careful not to talk yourself into a mini-recession but 2019 is turning into one of those strange summers for Ibiza.
On the outside the Island may look busy but scratch a little below the surface and you can see that there’s a definite dip in business compared to previous summers.
No sympathy is required though as Ibiza has seen massive growth over the last decade and has income streams and a spend per capita that other holiday resorts can only dream of but it’s important to recognise and analyse trends within the tourist market.
Northern Europe’s continued hot weather isn’t helping but hotel and villa bookings are down especially during peak season so expect some last minute bargains if you haven’t already booked. There’s several reasons for this and it may signal a change of direction for some businesses.
There’s no doubt that Ibiza has many more competitors than ever before especially in the important family and mid-range segment of the market.
Turkey has made a big return to form offering spectacular prices with Greece and it’s islands such as Mykonos also proving very popular. Croatia is still knocking on the door with its natural beauty and laid back charm. Dubai is proving strong for those wanting a smart getaway although it doesn’t get the heavy summer traffic due to extreme temperatures. Egypt and Tunisia are on the way back too plus many more emerging destinations offering good value for money.
Looking inwardly Ibiza’s VIP obsession shows no sign of stopping as many 2 star hotels build a roof top pool and upgrade to 4 stars charging prices that marginalise a major segment of the market. In the space of 5 years Ibiza has morphed from mid range hotels offering good value to high end hotels with eye-watering prices. When the majority of hotels are chasing the same business there’s going to be winners and losers.
Price is the dominating factor when making decisions and Ibiza is slowly strangling itself by cutting diversity and only going for a certain affluent segment of the market. Brand loyalty is all good and well but it’s a 2-way street and many regulars are feeling hard done by when the hotels they have stayed at for many years raise their prices to levels that are difficult to justify and it’s these people who are now turning to other destinations.
It’s not all bad news though as Ibiza is still one of the most beautiful places in the world and does have an affordable side, albeit not as glamorous but highly attainable as long as you tread carefully but more concerning is that the entry level market is diminishing so less new blood is coming in, when this happens there’s a finite end to the cycle.
Not quite a crisis just yet, more of a blip, so no doom-mongering here but in the modern day Ibiza with so much investment riding on results all trends are over-analysed from bars to boardrooms. Things can change quickly but as we hurtle towards August there’s a few concerned people out there.