Summer is over. When next week’s installment of Hype, Lies & Gossip goes live it will be September. Although the season is anything but finishing, now it’s nice time to draw some conclusions and measure some preliminary results (before we plunge headfirst in the closings).
Each of us has his or her own Ibiza track record and own perception of the island. Some come here to party 24/7 and can’t believe in San Juan’s tranquility, others refuse to leave their secluded villas and have never heard of Loco Dice or Solomun. Some regret that the golden days of Ibiza are long gone; others firmly believe that the island is improving every year and the best is yet to come. In an attempt to seek for objectivity and to shed light on the real state of things let’s resort to the official statistics.
According to the estimate by Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (AENA), this year Ibiza airport established a record by attracting three million passengers during the first seven months, which is 2.2% more than in 2012. It should be noted that in July the number of tourists arriving with low-cost airlines grew by 11% – hit by financial crisis, people prefer to cut costs in any possible ways rather than dismiss the idea of coming to the island at all. 95% of tourists come for leisure holidays – this number was a no-brainer. We might have even thought it would be 100%.
In August Ibiza hotels boast 95.5% occupancy, which is the same level as in 2012. Formentera’s occupancy is 95% that is 6% more than last year. Clearly speaking, it’s difficult to find accommodation if you don’t take care of it well in advance. No matter how hotel prices soar, more and more people come to the islands either to indulge in party life or to relax and unwind.
The occupancy of apartments and rooms for rent is unknown, but those who tried to find something in the beginning of the season (including workers who come to Ibiza year in year out) were shocked by how quickly they were rent out and how few of them were left on offer. The trend is that every year fewer and fewer people opt for staying at hotels – the current figure is around 60% and is decreasing dramatically each season. People buy fewer package tours and prefer to book their holidays independently online. Could it be connected to the fact that too many hotels here are boring, outdated and have nothing to do with true Ibiza spirit and fun? Others are not boring but way too posh – some very up market hotels seemed to have made huge offers in August because they simply weren’t filled. What a surprise.
In case you want to share an apartment in Ibiza, be ready to pay 400 Euros per month, which is the highest rate in Spain – in Madrid a room for rent would cost you 350 Euros and in Barcelona 325 Euros, according to the research made by the popular site Easypiso.com . Modifications were supposed to be introduced to the Tourism Law regarding the regulations of renting apartments for tourists, but finally the Government, the Councils and the Municipalities agreed to maintain the status quo: you can rent out an apartment but you aren’t allowed to advertize it publicly.
In case you are well-off enough to purchase a luxury property in Ibiza you should know that the demand for such type of real estate has increased 170% in Spain if compared to 2012. Ibiza along with Majorca and Puerto Banus are the regions that show the most dramatic price rise. The most coveted areas on the White Isle for buying real estate worth 2-20 million Euros are Es Cubells, Cala Jondal, Talamanca, Santa Gertrudis and San Carlos. Views, tranquility and nature seem more important to the wealthy ones than the proximity of the clubs.
The expensiveness of Ibiza can’t be contributed to purely economic factors – on the contrary, its emotions, dreams and hype that make the island such a sought-after piece of land. Ibiza is the Spanish resort that is most often mentioned in Twitter – it gets 17% coverage, while the runner-up, Benidorm, received mere 10%.
If you don’t rely that much on sockets, have a look at the research made by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism – it shows that around 1/5 of all the tourists coming to Spain opt for Balearic Islands with only Cataluna attracting slightly more visitors. Well, we know that Mallorca is also a popular Balearic destination, but still.
UK remains the biggest tourist supplier for Ibiza: in July 2013 the island welcomed 155 thousands Brits. In the same month there were 109 thousands Spanish holiday-makers here and 68 thousands Italians, with other nations enjoying the status of traveling minorities. People aged 25-44 make up more than a half of Ibiza visitors, another 20% are those aged 45-64. Oh yes, we guess that spending all your holidays at the West End you just won’t believe these figures – San An is a Neverland populated by kids. But the statistics was provided by the Balearic Government, so it should be trustworthy. Sometimes it’s worth making a step out of the box to see the real world, no?
We knew that Ibiza is a mega popular island. But we should also keep in mind that its population and its guests are extremely diverse. The owners of the multi-million yachts don’t know anything about San Antonio hostels. West End revelers have never heard of Ibiza rural boutique hotels. Farmers in San Carlos area are suspicious about the crazy breed of all-nighters. Bora Bora dancers squint at families who came to Ibiza with kids. Island residents complain of the loss of the indigenous spirit. Superstar DJs think it’s them who are the island’s spirit. When you lead a certain lifestyle in Ibiza, it’s hard to imagine that things could be different. There are so many of us, we are so diverse and we manage to co-exist on the small island.
Now a pivotal moment has come for Ibiza. Will we preserve the social diversity that has been characteristic of the island for the last century? Stand up for your own Ibiza. With over 3 million visitors in 2013 already you are sure to find at least a couple of hundreds of thousands people who share your views and will support you.