Lots has been written over the last few years about the ‘New Ibiza’. The Ibiza that knows the cost of everything but the value of nothing. A place that has ‘VIP’ ingrained into its diminishing soul.
Then came Covid. When it comes to game-changers the Chinese flu (to paraphrase a president) has done more in 4 months than any politician has in 4 decades. It’s created a new Ibiza for this summer but one that might be a blueprint for the future.
Whether by accident or design (will leave that to the conspiracy theorists) Ibiza is now what many have longed to see – very few groups of youngsters, an international crowd of mainly families and mature groups idling the day away on the beach or by the pool then booking ‘expensive’ restaurants by night. Busy days followed by quiet nights, like a European Caribbean where the streets become empty by 1am.
The large groups of youths are few and far between, the nocturnal screaming and shouting is minimal, the super-clubs are closed and the bright lights of San Antonio’s West End have been switched off in a political manoeuvre that wouldn’t be out of place in a hammy Shakespearian play.
Is this the new Ibiza unfolding before our eyes? A not-so-secret agenda pushed through on the back of a global pandemic. Some businesses will not survive this crisis therefore changing the landscape forever.
The Ibiza lovers are here as they always are, nothing stands in their way when it comes to visiting but the mass tourism that we have become accustomed to isn’t and many residents are already on their knees unable to feed their families while the Spanish government is creaking under the debt of helping out these people.
If this is the new Ibiza then it will be a challenge to bring through the next generation of tourists. Those that will spend the next 30 years of their lives returning while spreading the word of an island paradise where hedonism, culture, natural beauty and a liberal attitude exist side by side. As any football team knows – you are only as good as your youth policy.
This Ibiza of 2020 is only catering to a market segment of an already saturated market, it’s resembling Menorca at the moment getting by on its natural beauty and amazing local food but it’s missing those unique selling points that differentiates it from the rest of the world and as any good salesperson will tell you, it’s the USP’s that make the difference with any product. Never underestimate the importance of choice and Ibiza has always had in in bucketloads….until this summer of course.
We should continue to count our lucky stars that Ibiza 2020 is actually happening. This summer’s version is lacking an edge that only a fully functioning White Isle can offer but still gives many a chance to recoup some losses and keep the momentum going for 2021.
Let’s enjoy this summer for what it is but also not lose sight of what made Ibiza so special in the first place. It’s inevitable that the island will change but that change should be organic and not driven by petty politics and point scoring. To use a couple of cliches…..be careful of what you wish for, the grass is not always greener on the other side.