Happy October. These 2 words will come as a relief to many after what has been an incredibly busy summer season for the White Isle. It’s difficult to believe that little over a year ago nightclubs weren’t able to open, it was illegal to dance and most bars had to close by 1am.
Ibiza Summer 2022 has been the polar opposite to the previous year, business owners will tell you it’s been a good year but make no mistake it’s been a record year. The number of arrivals might not be at pre-pandemic levels but takings have been off the scale as tourists scrambled to make up for 2 ‘lost’ summers while prices have been maximised across the board.
Hotel rates have never been so eye watering, restaurants packed out every night and the clubs are back with a bang with those VIP packages at prices to bring you out in a cold sweat. The desire to make up for lost time has been unprecedented, the bounce back more extreme than anyone could have foreseen after 2 difficult years that saw local businesses hang on by their fingernails while others closed for good. From the despair of 2020 came the triumph of 2022 but it hasn’t come without its consequences.
For 2 summers Ibiza was forced to focus on food, nature and culture and some political commentators are already saying that a big opportunity has been missed to curb the excesses of the island. The no clubs nirvana that some had been striving for was only a short term illusion. Local elections are looming in May 2023 and it will be interesting to see if town halls change their approach next year if voters levitate towards the parties who promise to get tough on excess. As we have seen in past, Ibiza politics is a complicated animal where a few hundred voters can have a massive effect on certain segments of the market.
This summer proved that as much as Ibiza is a beautifully historic island with incredible cuisine, its X-factor and USP is world class entertainment in amazing settings that is difficult to find anywhere else on the planet. The island made a good job of selling itself without the clubs (day & night) when it had to but this is what really defines it where mass tourism is concerned. The secret, as always, is finding the middle ground where culture and pure hedonism can coexist but if anyone can find this then they might also be able to solve world peace. Ibiza as ever is an island of extremes that polarises local opinion.
Already there is much expectation for summer 2023. Unprecedented investment will happen over the winter yet again but it’s tough to see how Ibiza can follow this years trajectory. Even the most optimistic can see that business will most likely plateau now that the covid cobwebs have been shaken off but prices will continue to go upwards. It’s a simple supply and demand issue.
Summer 2022 will be remembered as the big comeback year for Ibiza, bigger than we could ever have hoped for but we shouldn’t get too carried away. Recent history has shown that there’s a thin line between success/failure and boom/bust. The island has to keep its feet on the floor and consistently improve its tourist offering on every level but for now we can definitely celebrate a job well done. Roll on the winter.