It’s been quite the season so far here on the island. On the business, cultural and political landscapes, there has been some seismic changes with new developments daily, adding to a bubbling cauldron of discontent and disruptive energy. Everybody is complaining, non so more than the ex pat community, closely followed by the Spanish, which has led to a new low in Anglo Spanish relations. There is a real sense of entitlement out there, as old stalwarts from a bygone era, struggle to come to terms with the fast pace and digital demands of the modern tourist. There is some good news for the island, lots of intrigue going on in the clubbing industry and with local elections and Brexit just around the corner, Ibiza is entering a transitional period of change never witnessed before. There is so much news to report, that we have decided to break down this years mid season report into eight editions, The Island, The Clubs, The Energy, The Tourists, The Hotels, The Politics, The West End and our first report for the season, Turismofobia.
This organised anti tourist trend started off with protests against mass tourism last year, but here in Ibiza, it has spread out to tourists in general. In Ibiza, pale skinned tourists are referred to as Guiri’s and San Antonio is known as the town of the Guiri. Over the last decade, Ibicenco’s would just laugh at their wild antics and limit their outings to the area, but due to a number of factors, including a serious lack of accommodation, the local Spanish population want San Antonio back. The San Antonio Government has introduced strict new laws that are closing down foreign owned business and reclaiming the streets for the residents. This has put them on a collision course with what is predominantly a British led colony in San Antonio.
The sad and tragic events of recent weeks, where four British tourists have lost their lives along with the two alleged gang rapes, has fueled the Turismofobia debate, especially on the Spanish side, as the local British ex-pat community fight a rearguard action to combat all the negative press they are receiving, much of it is self inflicted, as they are not shy in venting their frustration and angst. The majority of the respected expat community living in Ibiza, are themselves shocked by the behaviour of their countrymen, which has thrown them off balance and onto the ropes ,where they are receiving less tolerance from a new generation of Ibicenco who is better educated and a lot more commercially savvy with an eye on developing a new tourism model for San An.
For the Spanish, respect is a big word. Respect for people, civic order, culture and the environment around them. They are not against tourists in general, what they are against is the tourist that comes to the island and disrespects it. They always have been, and what we are now seeing is a new generation of Tourist that’s more arrogant, demanding and self centered with an attitude to match. They want everything now and the island is having a hard time adapting to them, as traffic jams and lack of parking anger residents even further. This has fed into the whole debate on the issue, as it’s not just an anti-British agenda, it’s a movement against a certain type of mass tourism that attracts the carefree type. Rather than fighting against the locals, the ex-pat community could do more to help and support the situation. Only this week, the British Editorial in San Antonio, The Ibizan, organised a fund to recognise the difficult drug and alcohol fuelled mess staff at Can Misses hospital have to deal with every night. A good news story to end our first report, lets hope we will see more of them.