Less is More for ‘The New Ibiza’

Do you even remember Ibiza 2019? So much has happened since then, but it was one of the busiest summers on record for the island. New venues, fine restaurants, concept hotels, even customer service was improving (honestly). But it was manic, really manic.

We all know what came next and against the odds Summer 2020 happened for 6 ‘glorious’ weeks. It was unexpected, restrictions were suffocating but it was also beautiful and more than welcome. Last summer was a surprise success that nobody really expected especially after so much trepidation and stress and now Summer 2022 is around the corner.

What can we expect? It’s the 64 thousand dollar question but there’s definitely a change in the air taking into account the last 2 summers when, to nearly everyone’s surprise, Ibiza managed just fine without the super clubs (who weren’t allowed to open). World class entertainment never hurt any destination but the lack of nightlife concentrated the mind in other directions.

Summer 2021 was when Ibiza came of age and grew in confidence to not just fall back on the ‘we have the best clubs in the world’ monologue whilst actively encouraging people to see the island through the bottom of a premium bottle of vodka. Nature became the new scene and eating out became the new rock n roll.

Ibiza’ gastronomy has always been a badly kept secret but now with 2 Michelin starred restaurants it’s culinary reputation is out the bag and growing worldwide. New restaurants are popping up plus the old favourites that never went away. If you’re a foodie then welcome to the pleasuredome.

It’s refreshing that other options are finally being explored although we can never underestimate that importance of Ibiza’s nightlife scene, it’s what put the island on the hedonists map back in the day and the big announcement last week was that clubs can reopen from April although we don’t know under what conditions. There will be mixed feelings on the island but it’s not before time as other destinations opened up earlier and started to make inroads into Ibiza’s core summer market.

Despite all the fanfare and headlines it’s hard to envisage the big clubs (Amnesia, Privilege, Ushuaia, Hi, Pacha, DC10 plus Eden and Es Paradis) being able to run 7 nights a week to packed houses. Some might even decide not to open and for the rest it could become a hotly contested bloodbath that causes a casualty or 2, Let’s not forget that Pacha recently had an emergency loan of 18 million euros from the Spanish government so pressure will be on them to start turning a profit.

The biggest surprise has been how well the island performed over the last 2 summers under very difficult circumstances. 2020 was short and sweet but ran at about 40-50% of pre-pandemic levels, 2021 was about 75% so what lessons have we learned from this challenging experience? Mainly that we don’t ever need to sell our souls again for the tourist dollar. Create a destination that welcomes all types of tourism, make hay while the sun shines by all means (August is August after all) but quality over quantity wins the race. How do we know? Well that’s exactly what has happened over the last 2 summers even though it wasn’t in the grand plan.

We have to take the positives, even from one of the the most challenging times in living memory and as anticipation and excitement rises for the new summer it’s worth remembering that sometimes less is more. It’s a concept that the white isle has struggled with over the years but the reset that has been thrust upon Ibiza can now be used to build a truly world class destination where tourists and residents can co-exist.

Ibiza has all the ingredients – a spectrum of hotels and villas to suit all tastes, fine restaurants, world class beach clubs and nightlife, a local culture steeped in tradition and heritage, white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters – after 2 tough years and with a fresh approach the island now has a unique opportunity to fine tune the recipe.

Ibiza 2021 – It’s been different!

January 2021

After Xmas, New Year and Kings Day celebrations Ibiza has record covid numbers but countless infractions are still being reported daily. – Ibiza doesn’t take kindly to being told what to do. Education bosses report that too many teachers are on sick leave and the month ends with Can Misses declaring that hospital services had ‘collapsed’ and national news reporting that Ibiza Town as the ‘most infectious town in Spain’ due to a spike in numbers. Ibiza goes to Level 4 restrictions. As the song says…..Things can only get better

February 2021

The constant barrage of numbers from the 3rd wave continues but cases begin to lower and Can Misses hospital starts to recover. Mass testing in Ibiza takes place with a highly coordinated effort. Ibiza (like the world) is consumed by bad news but UD Ibiza football club continue their charge in the league. Ibiza is declared as Spain’s epicentre of the ‘British variant’ (remember that?). Hotels and bars are still closed but the natives are getting restless as livelihoods suffer. Investment in Ibiza carries on unabated as hotels change hands and many carry out big refurbs. The covid vaccination is finally rolled out but a couple of cheeky politicians jump the queue causing widespread anger. Naughty naughty!

March 2021

There’s good news that national travelers can now enter Ibiza without showing a negative test but many international flights are cancelled until May. As cases plummet but restrictions continue there’s a demonstration in Ibiza Town calling for bars, restaurants and hotels to be able to open. The extended promenade from Cala Gracio to Port des Torrent gets the green light with work slated to start in 2023 and new hotels, the 5-star OKU and the 4-star Stic Urban in San Antonio are previewed to the world. The Ibiza vaccination program is ramped up after its reported that the island has the slowest roll out in Spain as covid related deaths pass 100. German tourists return to Mallorca and the month ends with an order that a face masks must be worn at all times even outdoors. Oh Dear!

April 2021

Easter time but restrictions still in place including a complicated curfew with restaurants and bar interiors remaining closed. As many destinations prioritise vaccinations for those that work in the tourist sector the Balearics resist calls to do the same. Weather is getting better and the island seems busier with French, German, Swiss and Dutch but where are the Brits? Still confined to their homeland. Sacre bleu!

May 2021

EasyJet and Ryanair start international flights, 50% of Ibiza’s hotels get ready to open for summer. Sant Joan Sunday market reopens, bar and restaurants reopen interiors and terraces now allowed until late evening and Island President Vicent Mari declares that the island is ‘open and is a safe destination’. Have we turned the corner? The Brits are still not allowed to travel so the island and especially San Antonio looks to attract a more international crowd. In sport, UD Ibiza finally gain promotion to the 2nd tier of Spanish football at the 3rd time of asking. Meanwhile there’s trouble brewing as Space Ibiza owner Pepe Rosello starts court proceedings against the Matutes Group claiming they have slandered him. Diddums!

June 2021

Ibiza’s bars and restaurants can now open until midnight (whoopee). The Ibiza nightlife association pushes back on the idea that Ibiza is ‘better without discotheques’ as the British government delays its decision to allow international travel until the end of June. Illegal parties in private houses are daily news and UD Ibiza football club upsets local rivals (who also use the facilities) by signing an agreement for the exclusive use of the Can Misses stadium for 2 years. The Balearics goes to the top of the class in the vaccination program. The Dutch become major players in the tourist market but the Brits come crashing back as Boris puts the Balearics on the green list plus the welcome news that masks don’t have to be worn outside. And breathe!

July 2021

The Balearic Supreme Court overturns the order that saw the closure of San Antonio’s West End terraces although business owners in the area doubt they will be able to open this summer due to ongoing restrictions. The political killjoys of Sant Joan declare that the famous drum fiesta on Benirras beach is illegal and there’s problems in Ibiza Town when bars close at 2am and hundreds start gathering in the harbour area carrying on the party. What did they think was going to happen? It’s now mid-summer and temperatures hit almost 40 degrees Celsius and 2 weeks after getting the green light the British government change the Balearics to amber – WTF Boris! The health ministry say that the reopening of nightclubs isn’t viable and a famous poker player on a private jet is busted for a case full of drugs – how the other half live. Ibiza has a 4th wave of infections or is it the 5th wave, who’s even counting anymore? Bars and restaurants back to 1am closing. Gotta love Summer!

August 2021

12–15-year-olds can now get jabbed as the Ibiza government brings in fines of up to 300.000 EUR for illegal villa parties which are being openly sold in the street even though the police are now using drones to try and detect them . The island is busy busy. The good news is that more flights are arriving than in August 2019, the bad news is that there are less people on them. The UK keeps Balearics on the amber list and San Antonio breathes a collective sigh of relief. Football fever hits the island as UD Ibiza host their first ever game in the professional ranks versus Malaga, the game ends in a 2-2 draw. The month ends with the usual heavy rainfalls and also a bad ferry accident when the ‘San Gwann’ runs aground on its way to Formentera. Oh Captain!

September

Bars and restaurants get an extra hour so can open until 2am (whoopee again) and Ibiza’s nightclubs ask for permission to hold their closing parties in October even though they never opened in the first place, confused? Ibiza’s hotels report a better August than they expected and Ibiza Pride hold a large concert on the beach in San Antonio but everyone is seated, and dancing is frowned upon. Covid seems to be largely forgotten about. Pressure builds on the island government as entrepreneurs voice their concern that other destinations are holding large scale electronic music events while Ibiza is languishing behind, they finally relent, and it’s announced that nightclubs can reopen from mid-October. Bars and restaurants can also open until 4am. Thank the lord!

October

The summer dawdles to an end but not before Amnesia, DC10 and Hard Rock Hotel hold big parties. DC10 opens its doors for a 12-hour bonanza that sees queues as far as the eye can see – Ibiza clubbing is back baby! Sporting events are everywhere in October – Marathons, triathlons, road races, cycling, car races and plenty more. All restrictions are lifted on bars and restaurants and Pepe Rosello announces he is to open a ‘musical restaurant’ on San Antonio’s sunset strip and that he’s close to finding a venue for Space on Sunday – cues a social media frenzy. Meanwhile Naomi Campbell’s ex-boyfriend, the multimillionaire Vladislav Doronin is fined 1M euros for illegal work carried out on the villa he purchased from Elle McPherson. How’s that for name dropping!

November

The month starts quietly and then the rain comes which isn’t unusual but it doesn’t stop which is very unusal. A court rules that the Matutes Group can legally purchase the remaining shares and become the outright owner of Privilege, the worlds biggest club. It’s still raining. Vaccinations are now available to the under 12’s and the covid passport is needed to enter establishments which hold more than 50 people. Pressure builds on UD Ibiza manager Juan Carlos Carcedo as the team records only 3 points from a possible 15. The rain has finally stopped!

December

It’s Christmas!!!!! Festive lights are switched on in San Antonio as fake snowflakes fall to the delight of the crowd. A new bishop of Ibiza is appointed (still big news over here) and the first case of the Omicron (the what?) variant is found in the Balearics. A new law that requires a covid passport to enter all bars and restaurants sees a 3-fold increase in vaccinations. Infection numbers start being a thing again (to the press anyway) as the 6th wave (I think) takes over the island. UD Ibiza sack their manager after 6 games without a win. Ruthless. The year ends as it started with ibiza partying hard and numbers rising. Ho-ho-ho.

Happy New Year!

Ibiza Moves to Level 3 Restrictions

Ibiza has moved to level 3 restrictions after exceeding 700 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days, a four fold increase since the start of December.

Covid certificates will now be required for all bars and restaurants regardless of capacity although this still needs to be ratified by the Balearic Supreme Court for bars with a capacity of less than 50. Covid certificates will also be needed to enter cinemas, cultural establishments where food and drink is served, gyms and fitness centres, dance academies, gambling halls and clubs for the elderly.

With regards to indoor and outdoor sporting events and competitions, participants over the age of 12 must demonstrate that they have been fully vaccinated, are fully recovered in the last six months or a have had a recent negative test.

In addition, planned street parades such as Kings Day can go ahead but must be carried out “in a way that is as serene and relaxed as possible and with the maximum of common sense; therefore, it will be necessary to avoid crowds and be as static as possible “. These are the words of Josep Marí Ribas, formerly mayor of San Jose and now the Balearic Minister for mobility and housing. The measures will come into force immediately (except those that require authorisation from the Balearic Superior Court) and will remain, in principle, until the end of January.

With regards to the thorny issue of masks outdoors Mari Ribas said “where there are crowds and the safety distance cannot be safeguarded, the use of a mask is a good thing but we have also clearly argued that when there is a considerable distance from others a mask is not necessary”.

Mariano Juan, Vice President of the Ibiza Council, added “to say that a mask should be used at all times outside doesn’t make any sense but it’s logical in outdoor spaces where there are crowds or risk situations”.

Original article in Periodico de Ibiza (Spanish)

Things to do in Ibiza over the Festive Season

The festive season is now upon us so it’s time to kick back, relax and indulge in some naughty and nice pursuits that only Ibiza can offer

San Antonio Christmas Market
The San An Xmas Market is back again after it’s surprise success in 2019. Live music on stage in front of the the wooden cabins serving food and drink, the wonderful Christmas tree and sparkly lights throughout the town square surrounded by palm trees, not forgetting Santa’s house and the brand new sledge run. There’s a full program of events in San Antonio but it’s the Xmas Market that brings the town alive from 5pm every day.

Ibiza Town Funfair
It’s not the holiday season without an old fashioned funfair and Ibiza Town’s offering near Can Misses ticks all the boxes and much more. From the dodgems to the haunted house to the gravity defying ‘Carcel’ there’s fun for all the family. Plenty of fast food is available and even faster ways to spend your money at the many booths and rides scattered about the busy fairground. The fair is open daily from 5-11 pm until 19 January (winning a large fluffy toy is compulsory).

Cava and Oysters at Hostal Parque
It’s a bit of a tradition so pull up a chair at the best viewpoint in Ibiza Town’s busiest square and order a glass of cava and a dozen oysters and enjoy the moment. Personally I like tabasco on my oysters and then let them slide down but everyone is different. As we get closer to Xmas the atmosphere starts to crackle with fun and excitement as Ibiza gets busier and busier. Better than summer? It’s a good debate but both are very different.

Shopping in Ibiza Town
Long gone are the days when Ibiza’s shops in winter didn’t have much to offer and over the holiday period the islands capital is buzzing with both residents and tourists finishing off their xmas shopping looking for gifts, ideas and couture clothing in the famous avenues and alleyways. From cheesy souvenirs to high end labels there’s plenty on offer so bring your credit card and finish off the evening having a look at the stalls on Vara de Rey and then some tapas and vino in one of the local bars.

New Years Eve at Lio
Okay, the drinks might be eye-wateringly expensive and whole concept scandalously indulgent but Lio is up there as one of the most amazing venues in the world nestled amongst the super yachts with the famous Ibiza Old Town is it’s backdrop. Dress code is ‘Elegant’ so dress to impress and throw away your inhibitions for what is sure to be an evening to remember. Tickets are 70 euros per person for entrance and a drink.

New Years Day Lunch on the Beach
2021 has been the year of gastronomic adventures on the White Isle so there’s no better way to start off the New Year with a long lazy NYD lunch in the sunshine. Make sure you book a table at one of the many beach restaurants (especially if the weather forecast is good) and organise a taxi so you can let your hair down and start the year as you mean to go on. This is what Ibiza is all about!

Es Vedra Walk
With time on your hands and the calorie intake rising it’s the perfect time of the year for the short hike to Es Vedra. Compared to summer there’s very few people about and the December and January skies always throw up some amazing colours especially at sunset. This is social media gold and sure to get your friends and family back home frothing at the mouth. It ain’t rocket science and a fantastic way to spend a few hours over the festive period.

Ibiza Town Kings Parade on 5 Jan
In Spain it’s tradition to give gifts on 6 January so the crowds will be out in big numbers to welcome the Royal Cavalcade on Wed 5 January from 6.30pm as the 3 Kings from the Orient come bearing presents plus boxes of sweets for the kids (and big kids). It’s a fitting end to the festive season calendar with an excited atmosphere and large numbers on the streets as the carriages file past. This is the real Spain and something that needs to be experienced at least once.

Finally……This is just a small selection, there’s so many things happening in Ibiza over the next few weeks, each town and village has a comprehensive list of events designed to keep all ages engaged so get involved wherever you can. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. The Big Man in red will be making several appearances plus plenty of things to do for the big kids once the little ones have gone to bed.

Have a great Ibiza festive season, thanks to everyone who read and commented on my Man in San An blog posts in 2021. Onwards and upwards to 2022!


Massive New Twist for Space Ibiza

An image of the the iconic ‘Space Ibiza’ logo on the giant screen of the Hard Rock Hotel in Playa den Bossa with the words ‘coming soon’ has sent the White Isle and clubland into overdrive.

The Matutes group of companies (Usuhaïa, Hard Rock Hotel and Hī) and Space owner Pepe Rosello are sworn enemies so does this mean they have kissed and made up? Seemingly not, it looks like the situation just became even more complicated.

For now the Matutes group are staying silent but with this new turn of events can we assume they have decided to relaunch the iconic brand? This leads us to the big question: Who actually owns the trademark to the world famous Space brand? Is it 85 year old Pepe Rosello, the founder of Space, or is it the Matutes company who acted as his landlord for over 20 years in a complicated profit share deal?

The previously cordial relationship soured dramatically after Space’s lease wasn’t renewed in 2016 leading to the opening of Hī, a brand new multi million euro super club in the heart of Playa den Bossa. It made perfect business sense that the Matutes Group took back control of the area with a brand new concept that created a ‘golden triangle’ but Rosello didn’t go quietly with accusations fired by both sides leading to court papers being served alleging fraud by Rosello and slander by the Matutes group.

The Space brand as a clubbing concept has been dormant since Carl Cox played the final track stood next to Pepe Rosello in an emotional 2016 farewell but it was recently disclosed that ‘Space on Sunday’ could return in 2022 with Cox back as the front man at a new venue that was later revealed to be Es Paradis in San Antonio.

However with this new dramatic giant screen twist it looks like the Matutes group has laid down a clear marker that they, in fact, own the Space trademark and speculation is now rife to where they might take the iconic brand with all eyes turned to Privilege in San Rafael.

To add greater confusion to proceedings the Matutes group are currently embroiled in their own protracted court case about the ownership of Privilege. The group already owns 45% of the ‘worlds biggest nightclub’ and a Balearic court has judged that they can purchase the remaining 55% at a price set by an independent auditor. This ruling has been challenged by the existing owners who think they might have to sell on the cheap but the group are confident that the judgment will be ratified by the Supreme Court very soon.

So many questions still remain. Who owns the Space brand? Will ‘Space on Sunday’ return in 2022? If so will it be in Es Paradis? Will Carl Cox keep his promise to only work with Pepe Rosello or will a potential Space/Privilege hook up by the Matutes group be too tasty to turn down? Will Space even go to Privilege and in what form? Will the Rosello v Matutes feud be resolved any time soon?

There’s plenty more legs in this story. Ibiza – always interesting, never dull.

Ibiza 21 – That’s All Folks

It’s November! The traditional summer season has drawn to a close so let’s take a few minutes to look back on summer 2021 and see how the dynamic of the island dramatically changed coming out of a global crisis.

The Balearic government in their ‘wisdom’ decided to keep the super clubs closed for a 2nd summer depriving Ibiza of one of it’s most important cogs, forcing the island to start afresh and look for other products to keep the hype alive.

The undoubted success story was the gastronomic sector which became the new nightlife alternative. Ibiza has always been blessed with a great selection of restaurants but 2021 became the summer of food. Reservations were a must and some establishments even operated a minimum spend with an allocated time slot. Lack of supply and plenty of demand was a license to print money and the tourists lapped it up. Fine dining became the new rock n roll.

Beach Clubs carried on their domination with reduced capacities causing the nightlife sector to spit even more feathers. There’s no love lost between these competing institutions but while one remained in enforced closure the other raked in the spoils under the sunshine (still with no dancing allowed). Life is never fair.

With no major day or club nights the search for a special experience turned to life on the ocean wave and day charters to Formentera and other beautiful beaches became a staple, all with a big bottle of champagne thrown in (for insta purposes only of course). The nautical industry went from strength to strength in 2021.

The ones who suffered were those who couldn’t open or chose not to open. The world famous super clubs were required by law to stay closed while the majority of other European countries opened their clubs and dance floors. The Island of dance had its soul ripped out by the Balearic politicians in Palma bloated on their own self importance. Long gone are the days when Ibiza was the place you came to dance the night away because you couldn’t back home. Imagine Las Vegas without the casinos.

When in July the borders came down and mainstream travel opened up again some hotels and other businesses decided to stay closed. Was it laziness, indifference, too much money earned in previous summers? Everyone has their reasons but it seemed bizarre that so many remained closed even when demand kicked in again.

San Antonio’s West End continued to be a ghost town, all the things that once made it great now working against it and conspiring to keep the doors closed. Has the town missed it? Will it ever be the same again? Many local politicians don’t seem unhappy with its demise and its hard to see it ever returning to its previous glories but a lot a of entrepreneurs are lining up to try and revive the urban area of San An, they know what a great opportunity it is.

Meanwhile many local businesses struggled to find adequate numbers of staff especially as young British workers are now persona non-grata (thanks Brexit), smokers were required to huddle in the street and the less said about the inadequate taxi service in peak season the better.

So summer 2021 is no more, it was very different from any before and probably unlike any other in the future. There were plenty of positives and a few negatives but that’s like any summer. It will be remembered fondly by some and harshly by others. Ibiza, always an island of contrasts but in many ways that’s what makes it tick.

After all has been said and done I can’t help thinking that the big winners were those who took a chance and discovered that the White Isle isn’t all about the clubs or viewing the island through a large bottle of premium vodka. It isn’t about any one thing. Ibiza is and always has been far greater than the sum of its parts, it just took a global pandemic for us to remember.

More 4 & 5 star hotels for San Antonio

The ‘old’ Piscis Park and Tanit

More positive news for San Antonio as 2 new major hotel projects have been unveiled.

Firstly the Palladium Hotel Group, which counts Ushuaia Beach Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza amongst its portfolio, has announced that their new 5 star hotel located in Cala Gracio will be called the TRS Ibiza Hotel and will be open in time for next summer. The fully refurbished luxury hotel is where the Hotel Tanit used to be in “privileged area for exceptional sunsets”.

The hotel will have a total of 378 suites and will be the first hotel in Europe under the exclusive TRS brand with the group saying “the hotel will be a revolution in terms of luxury and will be the first hotel on the island to offer a premium all-inclusive service in an adults only environment” with “an exclusive butler service, unprecedented on the island.” It will also have 3 a la carte restaurants, 5 bars and an exclusive spa and wellness centre.

Meanwhile Vibra Hotels (formerly Playasol Group) has resumed their extensive refurbishment of the landmark Piscis Park hotel opposite the Egg roundabout in central San Antonio. Work has resumed with the demolition of the interior and necessary structural works. The group say it is an “ambitious” project due to its size and the increase from a 2 to 4 star hotel.

The hotel, with its striking presence when entering the urban centre, will retain its current 366 rooms but will add a state of the art gym, separate wellness and beauty areas and an “original gastronomic space inspired by street food”. The hotel chain say that the renovation is being carried out with “high standards of energy efficiency and a quality construction process” costing 13 million euros with an opening date of 27 May 2022.

Summer 2022 is looking very promising as the hotel sector in San Antonio and Ibiza continues to go from strength to strength with major investment.

‘Space Ibiza’ on the Sunset Strip

Pepe Roselló

Pepe Roselló, the well known owner of ‘Space Ibiza’ has unveiled plans to open a bar and restaurant on the sunset strip in San Antonio for summer 2022. The new venture will be next door to Cafe Savannah in the Posta de Sol building and will be called ‘Space Sun Beach’.

Roselló says that the restaurant’s menu will be based on fresh local produce of high quality and a place that will be reminiscent of Space but “above all it will be a testimony to the musical legacy left to us by José Padilla”. He also promised dramatic musical interventions from the world of opera by Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Joan Sutherland and Plácido Domingo.

This is great news for San Antonio and a good addition to the sunset strip which should bring in a new crowd to the area.

Meanwhile the veteran Ibiza businessman also has plans to keep the “spirit of Space” alive from next summer in a venue that won’t be announced “until everything has been clarified and signed” although it will be under the name of “Sundays at Space” which gives a clue to its dynamics.

Ibiza Returns to Relative Normality

Finally after all the ups & downs of the last 18 months, the Balearic government has finally lifted most restrictions that signal the beginning of the end of living in a pandemic.

The big news of course is that Ibiza’s world famous clubs are able to open from 8 October however ‘can’ and ‘will’ are 2 very different words. It takes so much energy and expense to open a large discotheque that they may decide to wait for next summer.

The final decision on nightclubs is still subject to a judicial ratification in the next few days that will establish the rules of opening such as whether vaccine certificates will be required and if masks are obligatory in certain areas. It won’t be how it was before and the purists are already kicking off online but it’s another move in the right direction.

Pubs and bars are also now able to open until 4am as long as they have the relevant licence. This will be good news for owner/operators although with only a few weeks of the summer season to go it will also be a bittersweet moment thinking what could have been.

For an island such as Ibiza to ban dancing is tantamount to torture. The White Isle was built on a freedom of expression especially during tough times when people could come here and lose themselves in hedonistic pursuits and dancing is right at the heart of that.

The Balearic Government in all its pomposity seems to have forgotten what’s important and while other tourist destinations were quick to lift restrictions the Balearic have lagged behind.

Despite the Balearic gov’s lack of teeth it’s important not to forget how far we’ve come in such a short space of time and the fact that we are talking about ‘relative normality’ is a massive step. 2021 has been another rollercoaster year but it’s finishing strongly and there’s plenty of momentum going into summer 2022.

Now as restrictions come tumbling down the aforementioned momentum is so important and who’s to say that this season can’t be extended into winter. The weather is still glorious and there will never be a better opportunity but, as always, it depends on connectivity from the airlines so the hope is that they will be brave and play ball or at least give it a go.

The island of dance has finally been given the green light to reopen its dance floors. It’s been a long time coming but 2 years after they last opened their doors the dream has now become a reality.

Ibiza 2022 looks like it will be back to business as usual but for now let’s see if there’s a collective will to take Ibiza kicking and screaming into its first ever viable winter tourist season, something I thought I’d never see. Strange times indeed.

Busy September for Ibiza

We have seen another manic August come and go on the White Isle. The island was over 90% occupied during the busiest month with numerous nationalities enjoying themselves with packed beaches and restaurants there for all to see. Ibiza is now a truly international destination.

Even in these difficult times some businesses have thrived with the new regulations, maximising their time management and workforce. Restaurants are the new nightclubs, eating out is the ‘new’ thing to do. Dancing in chairs has become the norm…for now.

During the peak season the Brits have been noticeable by their lower numbers compared to previous years. The traditional British market is important to the island but none more so than San Antonio which had to find ways to diversify its market when the British government all but banned international travel up until the start of July with its convoluted quarantine requirements

Now we are well into September, the month that Brits usually arrive in big numbers and 2021 looks like it might follow suit, relatively speaking of course. Prices come down, the kids are back to school, the island becomes a little calmer as it takes a breather after the ‘chaos’ of August.

Summer 2021 has once again been affected by travel restrictions and even though Ibiza airport is showing stats similar to 2019, final tourist numbers will be down due to lower load factors but any spike in late season demand is more than welcome and further proof that the island is well on the way to recovery. Ibiza Town is as busy as ever with San Antonio and the Bay still ticking over.

If the weather continues to be good then we could see unprecedented numbers arriving in October as travellers rediscover their mojo and come to the realisation that flying isn’t as difficult as portrayed by the media. Some airlines are already offering direct international flights well into November

In a seasonal economy a strong finish to the summer can make a big difference and the hope now is that as local restrictions ease and international travel becomes more accessible, September, October and possibly even November can be the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake in a year that started without us even knowing if summer 2021 was ever going to happen.