Ibiza Needs Tourism…..BUT

As predicted by many, including myself, the Balearic Government announced this week that flights would be arriving en masse from Germany over the Easter period. This could change as Germany may go into another national lockdown but the message has been received loud & clear by us all: We will open our borders at the drop of a hat for the tourist dollar no matter what the implications.

All this news comes as Germany reports ‘exponential growth’ in infections whilst Ibiza has managed to substantially bring down its numbers. It hasn’t been easy to do – restaurants, bars and big stores have been closed for several weeks only reopening in the last few days. Movement has been restricted, Ibiza has done what it’s been told (kind of), most have played by the rules and we are coming out on top.

The method behind the madness of potentially letting in thousands of tourists from a country with more contagions than your own is very simple…MONEY. The vast majority in the Balearic archipelago earn their income from tourism. The Balearics and especially the 3 smaller islands are 1 trick ponies, we have very little else. The only ones who don’t rely on tourism are the migrants who retired and relocated or those who earn their coin in the cyber-world or off island whilst enjoying the lifestyle that 300 days of sunshine per year affords you.

If someone says, ‘close the borders until it’s all over’ or ‘forget about tourism’ then I can 100% guarantee that they don’t need this industry to feed their family or put shoes on their children’s feet. It’s a fantastic position to be in and these are the lucky ones but most of us in Ibiza and the Balearics desperately need the cash flow and income that tourism brings especially as the Spanish government has been woefully inadequate in stepping up and helping out with a convoluted system that promises little and delivers even less. Every day there is talk of financial assistance but scratch away at the surface and the process is so difficult and arbitrary that few know how to or have the will to apply.

The bottom line is that the Balearics desperately needs tourism but luckily it can still afford to be selective and this is where the decision to resume tourism at Easter becomes even more bizarre. Easter lasts for 10 days but many will travel for a week or less.

Faced with a long summer ahead of us including the 3 main months of mid June to Mid September, where the overwhelming profit is earned, are we really going to take a risk for a handful of days at the start of April where only a select few will benefit? Have we really worked this hard up until now to let down our guard just for a few days? Wouldn’t it be better to stay closed for a short time longer so infections can lower further and more vaccines can be administered?

Those arriving, national and international, will need a negative PCR certificate to enter and also fill out the usual online forms but as we saw at Christmas, when the same provisions were in place, this isn’t a failsafe system. We need tourism, we live off tourism but we also need to be sensible with a clear and concise plan that allows for all eventualities.

Like the flu this virus isn’t going to disappear so we need to learn to live with it and some calculated risks may have to be taken along the way but only when the rewards outweigh these risks. Easter, in my humble opinion, is too much too soon.

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.

17 thoughts on “Ibiza Needs Tourism…..BUT”

  1. Totally agree! It would make far more sense to me, to keep the borders completely closed to tourists, but to open all businesses, bars, restaurantes etc for the local population. It would enable more people to return to work and minimise the risks until such times as more people are vaccinated. Their are still plenty of people, residents here, who have disposable income and would love to be able to dine out, or go for a drink after work with a mate. Obviously the safetyrules still need to be active, but the curfew could be extended a bit. It would help to circulate the wealth that still exists here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dont agree – just catch the the virus and boost your natural immunity as the majority of the population on Ibiza have already had it … you can not catch the same virus twice – all viruses make you stronger and you then dont need a vaccination… so where is the problem ?
    Only if your elderly or have major health issues then get a vaccine …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People have been infected more than once with COVID.
      The majority of population of Ibiza have NOT been infected.
      The vaccination programme is woefully slow, but it’s still our best option

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Martin
    Will British Tourists still need to provide Negative Tests if they have had both Vaccinations? (and have the proof obviously)


      1. I agree! Just think there is bound to be massive Qs at Airport for tests etc and would be great if you could show something to say you have had both shots of the Vaccine

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Its simply not worth the risk. Most people living here have diligently followed the guidelines resulting in lower infection rates. The tourists arrive to party and enjoy themselves with a carefree attitude. Reap the rewards during the summer months.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a holiday hotspot, they needed to do the sensible thing and immunise the whole island before letting in tourists in a rapid roll out. At the rate the UK are delivering vaccine doses. it would take approx 8 hours to do the whole island but realistically, they could easily deliver 140,000 doses in two weeks at a rate of only 10,000 a day. These tourist hotspots are the jewel in Spain’s crown and needed to be treated as such. While I agree the risks seem to outway the profitability at the moment, If they are only letting in 500 Germans, then this maybe useful in getting the entry system up and running and monitoring safety procedures as a test run ready for the main influx in the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This may all seem a little scary to you and i get it – but people are starving and are without daily necessities – Life must continue! Mexico has kept its borders open through this whole process – there has been people coming in from every country in the world… Tulum in particular is operating at nearly 100% capacity… hospitals are not under pressure and businesses are thriving – get out of the fear space guys and lets get on with our lives. There is way too much drama going on and we need to return to normality. If you are feeling sick, simply be respectful and stay at home… Keep it to yourself and stay away from people until you’re better.
    This isn’t going away, so we best just get on with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Whats with all the fear?
    Too much mainstream news I reckon.

    The dangers of this virus has been exaggerated beyond belief, and backed up by non-stop propaganda.

    An experimental vaccine is your best bet?
    what happened to a strong and positive attitude which would conclude that a healthy (physically/emotionally/mentally) person is the best bet?

    I feel for people who need tourism, as i can understand that you are at the mercy of the governments. However, if we keep reinforcing the idea there is a killer virus ripping through the population then this will go on for many years and we will all be at the mercy of “data” and “numbers”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is pretty obvious you haven’t had it. I was fit, training up to 3 times a week until I got COVID early January. I am still recovering, and can’t train or do sport probably for another few months. Up to 1 person in 3 has long Covid, and it is no joke. It isn’t killing that many people but it is extremely delibitating.


  8. As an 80 year Old, in good health, would really like the vaccine before Ibiza Opens for the masses. Can’t We wait just a few weeks More? Have Been in tourism all My Life, and understand both sides Of the argument, but would really like to be able to go out a bit, and eat at a restaurant, and have a G+T on a terrace, without getting stressed as haven’t had jab.
    In the 1960″ s “TheSeason” started end Of May.
    They are currently vaccinating the 88 year olds, so please, lets just wait a bit, before letting in “outsiders”……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really do feel for people who are scared about this, and I can understand it. An hour of mainstream media is enough to get one scared of ones own shadow.

      Would like to add, my friends mother who has severe respiratory problems every winter, and is hospitalised each winter, was taken in this year with corona. She was discharged 4 days later, fully recovered.

      Come on people, it’s time to question this whole narrative.

      Health and life to you all!


  9. I am so sick of the selfish aditude of some of the strong, young healthy people with “great immune systems”. The measures in place, are there to protect everyone. Why should elderly people be shoved in a closet in order for these others “live freely”. Because these years are at the end of their life, does not make them any less valuable, in fact I would say they are more valuable. These are people who have worked for decades, raised families, contributed to society and now, because they are higher risk, they should be told they should just stay in?

    I think it is very short sighted to open for the Easter holidays and put our summer in jeopardy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jacquie, selfish young people? really?

      You might want to consider re-evaluating your base assumptions that your whole premise rests upon, that there is indeed a killer virus and wearing masks and distancing will protect you from it.

      We still all get to go to the very busy local supermarkets this whole time and our kids still go to school, for a whole year now, and all 8 people who I know who have had this virus have recovered within a week.

      They’ve even said, Brits travelling abroad this year is highly unlikely, even with the Vax.

      2 weeks to flatten the curve…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have been in mexico for 10 weeks and its thriving and the hospitals are fine. Testing stations on every corner.. Just seems fear is driving this monster and I DO believe there is a virus but not one to shut the world down. Recession incoming.


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