San Antonio: The ‘Excessive Tourism’ Deception

It’s almost election time in Ibiza which means as sure as night follows day the usual political suspects will trot out the same lines that they have been coming out with for years even though things have drastically changed over the last decade.

Joan Torres, of the PI party, has promised to ‘eradicate excess tourism’ from San Antonio should he become Mayor in the local elections on 28 May. Sr Torres is the man who gained only 400 votes at the last election but was the kingpin in forming a government with the PP party and then consistently caused trouble by voting and briefing against his own team until he was removed late last year. If there was ever an example of why proportional representation doesn’t work then this is it.

Yet Sr Torres still uses this throwaway phrase for leverage. For years it was directed at San Antonio’s West End when chaos lurked around every corner and groups of naive youngsters would get the hard sell into buying a bottle of cheap spirits, mixers and several shots for a tenner each.

The result wasn’t pretty or dignified, a race to the bottom by unscrupulous bar owners undercutting their neighbours because they didn’t know any better. Then along came COVID and the West End didn’t open for the best part of 2 years and when it did, life and tastes had moved on dramatically. The area is now a shadow of its former self with only a handful of bars open for business attracting the cheaper end of the market, it still has a place in the tapestry of San Antonio even though the whole area now has to close at 3am.

Ibiza has been transformed over the last decade, some may say not for the better but the evolution has been stark, the personal spend of each tourist amongst the highest in the world. Ibiza has a product that other destinations can only dream of and is the envy of many yet opportunistic politicians still want to demonise youngsters for having a good time, biting the very hand that feeds them. Since when was it a crime to overindulge and let your hair down on holiday?

There is a line that shouldn’t be crossed and some tourists behaviour in the summer leaves a lot to be desired but these idiots are very much in the minority. The overwhelming majority have fun in the sun, no different to anywhere else with a build up of youngsters on a hot summers day with free flowing alcohol. To mark out San Antonio for its excessive past is doing a disservice to it’s future.

The spotlight of San Antonio’s ‘excess’ has shifted to larger venues who operate daily parties but they have plentiful security and fully stocked medical facilities. It’s when the tourists leave the venue that problems can sometimes arise and these venues should never get a free pass but should also be applauded for providing a controlled safe space for maximum enjoyment, that’s one of the reasons why they are busy every day.

There’s much that needs improving on the White Isle like the the local transport system so there’s not an over reliance on the woeful Ibiza taxi service or incentivising local businesses to open earlier in the season or clamping down on street sellers and pickpockets. Affordable housing for professionals and a few pedestrian pathways to stop people walking on main roads wouldn’t go amiss either

Ibiza has made its global reputation on world class entertainment and now you can add fine dining and top hotels as a reason why the island is at the very top of its game but there’s still much to focus on to make Ibiza a better place to live and visit. Let’s not let spurious pronouncements by polarising politicians cloud the real issues at hand.

It’s Official : Ibiza has Never had it So Good

Cala Bassa 23 April 2023

It’s the final week of April and so far this month has been a real eye opener.

The big question over winter was if the post covid boom of last summer would lead to some form of bust this year however this has been emphatically answered with a ‘no’. In over 3 decades I’ve never known such a busy start to a summer season.

The Ibiza streets are already bustling, the beaches and restaurants are packed and the Island has come alive earlier than ever before. We have been blessed with some unbelievable weather but even so, the numbers don’t lie.

With more daily international flights coming into the Island than ever before the trend is set to continue for the end of April and May which is traditionally the low season. In San Antonio Pikes, O Beach and Mambo have already opened, the International Music Summit starts this week, a full month earlier than when it was originally conceived, and let’s not forget Ushuaia and Hï also have their opening parties this coming weekend. Even Amnesia has jumped onboard with an early party this Friday. Wow!

Not only have we seen an amazing start to the summer season, last week it was reported that Ibiza now has 4 of the 6 most expensive towns to buy a property in the whole of Spain – Full list here. Traditionally it has been Madrid and Barcelona at the top of the list however this has been superseded by Sant Josep at number 1 followed by Santa Eulària in second. Ibiza Town is in fifth place with San Antonio in sixth – who’d have ever thought that!

This is fantastic news if you already own a property on the White Isle but not so good if you looking to get on the ladder. As ever it’s a double edged sword but is another significant signal that Ibiza is at an all time high and since when has surging property prices been a bad sign about the local economy.

The elephant in the room as usual is the phenomenally high rental prices coupled with historically low wages and ongoing staffing issues. Many businesses are desperate for staff but there isn’t the footfall any more and even if there was, there’s nowhere for them to live, not at a reasonable price anyway.

So the conundrum of the White Isle continues to baffle the so-called experts but with world class clubs, a hotel sector that is unrecognisable from a decade ago, a burgeoning culinary reputation, 300 days of sunshine a year and the most incredible nature it doesn’t take a genius to unravel the riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

The summer season is now well and truly upon us and the signs are very good, the usual issues will no doubt raise their head over the coming months but the view from inside tells us that Ibiza is at the very top of its game, make no mistake about that!