Post Lockdown Paradise but Time to Get Back to Work

Coming out of the Ibiza lockdown has been like emerging from a long dark tunnel into glorious bright sunshine, we’ve come a very long way in a few short weeks.

Since we’ve been ‘released from house arrest’ the Island has never been so beautiful in the warm summer air without tourists. It’s given us all a new appreciation of where we live. Free of traffic, free of pollution, free of white legs and red shoulders but also free of income and prosperity.

Unfortunately in the busy, modern world you can’t have your cake and eat it and as beautiful as this Ibiza is, it needs tourism like humans need oxygen, the island simply can’t function without it. What type of tourism is a separate debate for another day but for now we need to get the Ibiza economy back up and running. It’s time to get back to work.

Those looking for a cheap peak season holiday might not like our prices but this backs up the Ibiza brand and an unwillingness to compromise. You won’t see Monaco or Switzerland dump their prices either and Ibiza is stronger because it knows it’s own value and understands that massively discounting is counterproductive attracting the wrong market and devaluing the product. Better to have 6 good weeks than 12 bad ones.

As in any situation there are winners and losers to emerge from the lockdown ashes and yet again the West End of San Antonio has been unfairly targeted by politicians hundreds of miles away on a different island.

Whatever your opinion on this hot potato of an area, to deny the many local families, who rely on it, the chance of a livelihood during the worst economic crisis in modern times is unfair at best and downright criminal at worst. It can’t be right that one street can open but the next one can’t as long as everyone follows the letter of the law. It’s the tourists who should decide whether a business is successful, not petty rivalries between opposing politicians.

The fact that San Antonio Town Hall is powerless to oppose the restrictions imposed on the West End speaks volumes of the nature of Balearic politics. The Balearic Government is yet another needless layer of overpaid bureaucrats looking to justify their existence on a daily basis. In my opinion decisions that affect the local population should be administered by the democratically elected local town hall along with the island council, not a group of 3rd party arbiters who have limited knowledge about the genuine situation on the ground.

The West End’s short term future may be in the balance but the big winner of the post lockdown weeks has been Formentera which has been inundated with day tourists. Many locals who wouldn’t usually have the time or inclination to visit have been taking the trip and enthusing about the paradise island and it’s beauty.

They say that the cream always rises to the top and, after many feared for Formentera, the smallest habitable Balearic island has in fact seen plenty of visitors with long queues for ferries and busy beaches.

Of course it hasn’t been the same as with ‘genuine’ tourists but Formentera’s reputation for nature and beauty has soared and this is something that money simply can’t buy. As the world gets busier you can always rely on the F-word to deliver in a calm and classy way.

As international flights start to arrive, the local population get back to work and the island slowly recovers, summer 2020 promises to be like no other. Ibiza will be different this year and it could be THE year to discover its genuine charms whilst basking in it’s beautiful glow and unique atmosphere. There’s only one way to find out……

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.

6 thoughts on “Post Lockdown Paradise but Time to Get Back to Work”

  1. Hi Martin
    Good to hear that all is well now the Island has emerged, blinking, into the sun again. However, to business. I think I know what you mean when you say “What kind of tourism do we want”, and I’m sure it’s lovely for the locals to be able to move around without the hordes that are usually there at this time of year, and there has been much on social media about Drunken Brits Abroad. But not all of us want the cheap “chips and gravy“ deal. We’ve already had 2 weeks cancelled in May/June, and were looking forward to returning for another 2 weeks at end of August. However as some UK airports are not resuming flights to Ibiza until May 2021, (ours included, 5 minutes away), our 2 weeks is going to cost us an extra £600 just to get to Ibiza, and an extra day to travel. But still we will come, as it’s worth it, for the beaches the scenery and the lovely people, (although we could go to Majorca for less than we’ve already paid, which doesn’t make sense). So don’t lower your prices, to rock bottom to attract tourists, as rock bottom tourists is what you will get, and Ibiza doesn’t need that.

    Anyway, breakfast rant over, enjoy the rest of your day, and roll on August.

    Stay safe

    PS, no white legs or red shoulders here. The weather has been as hot as it is where you are

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for another clear-headed comment, Martin. Those of us who love the island don’t want to see it lowering standards and attracting the wrong sort of tourists. We just want to see Ibiza become known for it’s beauty and tranquility, not for it’s present reputation as a “party island”. Looking forward to returning soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Appreciate that those who love the island (myself included), will still come; but the fact is, many will not. The Covid uncertainty, coupled with the impending recession and lack of high end destinations like Ushuaia and Hi, will impact visitor numbers considerably. Ironically, its the young, un-mortgaged / childless guest in their twenties who are most likely to jump on a plane at short notice rather than the families the Balearic Govt are trying to replace them with ( many of whom will select All-Inclusive hotels anyway, as it saves money). The role of the Superclubs in building ‘Brand Ibiza’ is underestimated; without them, what can you do in Ibiza that you can’t do in (considerably cheaper) Mallorca or Meniorca? Put another way, the much-maligned Clubs are the islands USP; enabling hoteliers and restaurants to charge higher prices. Their absence devalues the brand much more than dropping prices to reflect its a difficult time for everyone.


    1. Clubs are part of the fabric of the island & always improve the brand. When you meet someone on a plane in Australia they don’t say Ibiza is famous for the shopping however it is what it is & there’s more than enough reasons to visit in 2020.


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