Ibiza Tourism 2015 – December & January Roundup

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British Business Strong at Fitbur Trade Fair

  • UK bookings cause for optimism

The Pitiüses trade delegation kicked off the important Fitbur tourist trade show full of optimism and great expectations following a strong first day at the event in Madrid running until Sunday. During a busy first session both business and political representatives were confident that the principal British market will continue to grow this year. “We’ve met online wholesale and British agencies. There are good prospects for the British market to Eivissa. The islands of Ibiza and Formentera are popular in the UK market and we have every reason to believe there will be an increase in arrivals of tourists from the UK.” said Juanjo Riera, president of the Association of Hoteliers in Ibiza and Formentera (FEHIF), who recalled that last year they reached 798,000 British passengers compared with 780,000 in 2013, representing an increase of 2.3%. In the same vein the president of the Government, Jose Ramon Bauza, noted that the expectations of growth of international tourism in Balears “are frankly positive”

Consell President Vicent Serra said that the early signs were good, both in the main season and during the marginal weeks and the winter. There was no mention of how the winter tourists are meant to get to Ibiza, but we’ll just have to cross that Mediterranean when we get to it.

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Formentera will be present at overseas tourism fairs

The Consell de Formentera, in the form of the Tourist Board, will have a presence at five tourism fairs to be held in the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Austria during the next two weeks.  These include the Vacantibeurs Fair in Utrecht (Netherlands) from January 13th to 18th, with two presentations and a gastronomic event presented by Restaurant Can Dani (recently awarded a Michelin star). From January 15th to 18th Formentera will exhibit in Helsinki (Finland) and Vienna, then in Stuttgart from January 17th to 18th and, finally, Dusseldorf from Jan 17th to 25th.

Adlib will be at the Momad Metrópolis fair again

Moda Adlib will contribute to an institutional stand at the MOMAD Metropolis fair, to be held on February 8th, 9th and 10th at IFEMA. At this event, which takes place annually in Madrid, numerous textile, footwear and accessories brands are involved. The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Vicent Roig, is attending the shows with the aim of supporting Ibizan companies that are participating. The institutional stand will provide information relating to this sector, in addition to activities in which Adlib will participate during 2015.

New Hotel Som Group is Ibiza Bound

The newly created Spanish hotel chain Hotels Som is studying several projects to be implemented in Ibiza. In an announcement Monday company executives Joan Enric Capellà and Vicenç Miralles said “We are at an advanced stage in talks relating to the opening of two prestige boutique hotels in Ibiza, and one resort that is already built, but has great potential for growth”.

30 million€ to improve Pitiüsan hospitality sector

The Fomento of Tourism in Ibiza and BMN-Sa Nostra have signed a partnership to support the Pitiusan tourism sector and thus create a more competitive and sustainable tourism model. Consequently, those associated with the Fomento will have access to a 30 million euros line of credit, which will provide new alternatives to the demands of funding partners. BMN-SA Nostra spokesperson, Tolo Way, stressed that “these are good times for the Ibizan economy and for companies to access capital, invest and grow so that they can create new jobs.”

Air Europa begin inter-island flights in May  (19/1)

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On May 1st Air Europa will begin inter-island flights, which will link Son Sant Joan with Mahon and Ibiza airports six times per day and will be operated by turboprop ATR 72 planes.

This was reported in a statement by the airline of the Globalia group, and confirms the announcement made by the president of Globalia, Juan José Hidalgo, in December, “permission has been sought, according to the available slots, for us to offer an efficient, convenient and flexible service, favouring both business trips and holidays.”

Consequently, the first morning flights will take off from Mahon at 7 am and from Ibiza at 7.35 am. The last flights of the day will take off from Palma to Mahon at 20.55 pm and from Palma to Ibiza at 21.00 pm.

All inter-island flights have connections at the airport of Palma with the extensive network of national, European and international destinations catered for by Air Europa.

For example, from the company’s hub at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, travellers from Mahon and Ibiza may continue their journey to Air Europe’s transatlantic destinations in North and South America, and the Caribbean, without worrying about their luggage.

As a result of this, passengers from both Mahon and Ibiza can check in directly to their final destinations.

Hoteliers welcome Air Europa Palma-Eivissa flights

Yesterday the Association of Hoteliers in Ibiza and Formentera (FEHIF) positively assessed the news that Air Europa will start flying inter-island routes from May, with 12 daily flights (six round trips). Moreover, the service will be maintained throughout winter as it is to be a Public Service Obligation (PSO). The entry of this company into the market between islands will lead to rates coming down about 40%. “Improving inter-island flight frequencies and lowering ticket prices will promote more movement of people between the islands.” stated the president of Globalia

San An Confirms October Festival 2015

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San Antonio has chosen Fitur to announce that they will be holding a second October Festival Ibiza in 2015. This year’s event will take place from the 9th to 12th October.

The festival celebrates music, culture and arts from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s decades centred on flagship live music events at various public and private locations.

Publicity is planned to for presentation to press, tour operators and travel agencies, with new promotional materials to help drive home the message. A presentation to tourism professionals will be held Thursday 29th coinciding with Ibiza day.

Councillor for Tourism Vicent Ribas said “The first San Antonio October Festival was a great success, a very positive  experience, and a very good demonstration of a productive partnership between the City, as an organiser, and private entrepreneurs in the borough”.

Ribas went on to say that Fitbur is the ideal vehicle to present news of October Festival Ibiza 2015 as a “new tourism product which helps to extend the Ibiza season through business attracted by music from the best three decades of the twentieth century.

The 2014 event was well supported within the English speaking business community of San Antonio, though there was some criticism of the event not being more widely promoted in the English speaking markets as such must be considered the greatest target source of overseas tourists in so far as extending the season was concerned.

Photos: Above the first October festival in full swing in 2014. Below Festival headliners The Brand New Heavies.

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Ibiza Airport – one of AENA’s most profitable (17/1)

 

Son Sant Joan in Palma and Ibiza were the most profitable airports for AENA in 2014. Palma’s airport has had, for several years, no debt while Ibiza’s has been reduced from the 3.65 million euros accumulated up to 2013, according to the Ministry of Development.

AENA’s global economic data for the year 2014 will be released shortly, but in 2013 Son Sant Joan exceeded 97.6 million euros profit and Ibiza 12.7 million euros.

The reasons for this upward trend in comparison with other airports, is based on the fact that Ibiza recorded a record number of passengers in 2014, with more than 6.2 million over the past year and Son Sant Joan achieved 23.1 million visitors.

This increase in airport activity resulted in higher revenues from the operation itself and from an improvement in commercial revenues.

Both Ibiza and Son Sant Joan airport outperform the rest for lack of accumulated debt, which is not true of Barajas, El Prat, Alicante, Bilbao, Malaga, Tenerife Norte and Fuerteventura. South Tenerife and Lanzarote are the only other profitable airports. The increase in passenger arrivals in the case of Ibiza is because of an increase in landing slots, opening new routes and the growth rates of between 9% and 10% Ibiza achieved over the last six months, according to facilities

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Eleven illegal villas and holiday flats face fines (4/1)

The Department of Tourism has set in motion another 11 penalty proceedings for renting apartments or villas for tourism purposes between January and November 2014. This figure represents 20% of all inspections that have been made for this purpose (56 in total) and 24% of the total number of disciplinary proceedings that have been initiated in 2014 (46 in total).

All homeowners who want to offer holiday accommodation must register with Turismo, which currently has 1,600 applications registered for this reason.

Tourists Up  4% in 2014

At the close 2014, the Balearic Islands saw tourist arrivals increase by 4% in comparison to 2013, a total of 13.5 million visitors; a return to the number of visitors seen prior to the start of the economic crisis and recovering two million visitors since 2009.

According to the Institute Balear de Estadística (Ibestat), all Islands reported positive data during 2014. In Mallorca, the increase was from 2% (9.6 million tourists); in Menorca, 1.9% (1.1 million) and Ibiza, from 13% (2.7 million).

Port exceeds 2 million passengers (9/1)

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Despite a lack of official data for December, the port of Ibiza will have seen around 2 million passengers in 2014. According to the website of the Balearic Islands Port Authority (APB), the port of Ibiza has welcomed 1,943,361 passengers in the first 11 months of 2014, an increase of 10% over the same period in 2013 (1,772,155 passengers). If the statistics for December are equal to those in 2013, when 68,202 ferry passengers passed through the port, Ibiza’s docks will exceed two million passengers this year, a figure not reached since 2007, when there were a total of 2,002,619 passengers. Three quarters of travellers (74.5%) arriving or departing from the Ibiza port had the port of la Savina, Formentera as their source or destination. Traffic to and from la Savina increased by 13% in the first 11 months of 2014. Most of these passengers (96.3%) were travelling to or from Ibiza, while the rest were travellers between Formentera and Denia (54,432 passengers), 439% more than in the same period in 2013. 7,269 passengers used the Balearic ports of Palma, Alcúdia, Mahon, Ibiza and la Savina, between January and November 2014, a 10% increase overall, with the exception of Palma, whose traffic decreased by 1%, from 757,585 to 749,730

6.2 million  passengers passed through Airport last year  (14/1)

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  • Biggest growth in Swedish and Finnish markets
  • Ibiza Airport broke all previous records in 2014, closing the year with a total of 6,211,882 passengers, which meant an increase of 8.5 % over 2013.

According to reports from Aena, out of the total number of passengers, 6,191,170 were commercial passengers and, of these, 2,346,669 were Spanish nationals, up 7.1 % from the previous year. 3,844,501 passengers were of international origin or destination, representing an increase of 9.4 %. Aena also stressed that the international markets that have grown the most over the past year are the Swedish and Finnish, which contributed 21,302 and 5,438 passengers respectively. The third country showing the most growth was Portugal, with 16,859 passengers in total. Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands were stable markets in Ibiza during 2014 increasing by 55.8 %, 31.1 and 19.5 %, respectively. Total flights also increased in 2014 by 6.8 %, with 60,142 landings or takeoffs. National flights increased by 3.8 %, to 23,977 in total. International flights grew by 9.8 % &, to 31,468 in total. The record also shows that the airport has also broken a total of nine consecutive passengers records – from April to December.

During last December Ibiza airport recorded a total of 118,794 passengers, 9.8 % more than in December 2013.

Independent travellers spent 1,818 million €. Package tour travellers spent 629.1 million € (10/1)

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Spending by independent visitors to Ibiza and Formentera continues to increase year on year. The latest survey of tourist spending (Egatur) shows that in the first 11 months of 2014, independent tourists spent a total of 1,818,6 million euros while staying in the Pitiüses, 9.3% more than in 2013 when their expenditure was 1,664 million euros. In contrast, package tour travellers spent a total of 629.1 million euros up to November compared to 694.8€ invested throughout 2013, which represents a decrease of 9.4% (65.6 million euros less).

Total tourism spending generated on the Pitiüses amounted to 2,447.7 million euros, representing an increase of 3.7% on 2013. In other words, visitors spent 88.8 million euros more than in all of 2013.  This increase in tourist spending should be viewed in context with the increase in total travellers, there were 2.7 million visitors in the first 11 months of 2014 compared to 2.4 million in 2013, which represents an increase of 11.6%.

By nationality; foreign visitors spent a total of 1,930.5 million euros on their holidays in the Pitiüses, just 0.4% more than during the entirety of 2013. In contrast, Spanish tourism spending last year rose from 435.9 million euros in 2013 to 517.1 million euros recorded until November last year, representing an increase of 18.6%.

The figures show that tourists are becoming increasingly confident about travelling independently and arranging their flights, accommodation and entertainment by themselves.

 Port allocated 12.5 million €

The Board of Directors of the port authority of Balearic Islands (PAB) has approved the budget for next year, which includes an investment of 27.8 million € in the five main Balearic ports.

Ibiza will receive the most investment in 2015 with a forecast of 12.5 million €, more than both Palma at 9.3 million € and Maó which receives 2.7 million €. The bulk of the budget is allocated to the adaptation and improvement of the South docks at a cost of 7 million The commercial docks will benefit from a 4.4 million € investment and 2.5 million € has been allocated to extend the Botafoch jetty to handle the arrival of large cruise ships.

New Law To Boost Tourism

  • Lighthouses be allowed to be converted into tourist accommodation subject to strict rules regarding the preservation of their architectural integrity and historical features.
  • Drafting of detailed zoning plans for the provision of all inclusive accommodation, and private rented accommodation.
  • ‘Madura’ tourist town funding and subsidy classification.

New composite legislation has been announced by the Balearic Government across a range of issues in the tourism industry. San Antonio has already achieved the madura (consolidated) classification which among various benefits allows businesses in the borough to gain the tax advantages we reported last week if they open for more than 6 months per year. The scheme also gives  the town preferential access to EU and Spanish government funding.

Emblematic Montesol Could Be Luxury Hotel.

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Rental law changes, which come into play on the 1st January, signify that the present rental contract for the emblematic and centrally located Montesol Hotel and Cafeteria on Vara del Rey finishes and the hotel returns back to the owners for the first time in many, many years! Originally known as The Gran Hotel Ibiza, the establishment was opened in 1933 by the owners, the Villagómez family. During the Civil War the army took the premises over and afterwards the tourist authorities rented the building, reopening it again as a hotel. It is this contract and the subsequent sub-contracting to third parties which finally finishes in the New Year. The Owners are determined to take back control and, with new partners who are offering to participate, open a Hotel and restaurant to the highest of standards making the Montesol once more a flag ship for the Town of Ibiza. They will have to respect the historic protection orders which exist for the building and are anxious to let it be known that they have nothing to do with the last company running the hotel and cafeteria or the alleged labor problems which exit between the personal and the last company renting the building.

Palladium Group Open Hard Rock Hotel in Tenerife.

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The Ibicencan owned Palladium Hotel Group are to soon open a second Hard Rock Hotel in Tenerife. It will have 637 rooms distributed in two towers connected by swimming pools, restaurants, bars and other recreational installations inside the complex. As always music, luxury and service are going to be the key elements of the Hard Rock experience now opening in Tenerife after the success of the concept here in Ibiza.

Success in Belgium & Holland.

Helped by the Spanish Tourist Office in the Brussels, the Ibiza Convention Bureau has carried out several successful promotions in both Holland and Belgium designed to help promote Ibiza as a destination for conventions. The concept of Ibiza as a destination for conventions was well received with over 300 firms attending just one of the presentations in Holland.

India Targeted As Emerging Tourist Market.

A magazine with a 60,000 copy distribution and sent to all American Express Gold/Platinum card holders in India will this month have a 24 page supplement about Ibiza and Formentera as a quality tourist destination. The inserted brochure highlights family tourism, culture, patrimony, gastronomy, marine activities, sports facilities, the island’s night life and that we are gay friendly.

Ibiza to Palma flights at risk

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A big increase in demand for flights to Ibiza has put Air Europa’s planned inter-island schedules into jeopardy next year. The Bureau of Air Transport (AENA) met yesterday with Council for Tourism President Carmen Ferrer to address the problem affecting Air Europa’s planned schedule of 6 daily Palma to Ibiza flights.

Speaking in the meeting, airline project leader Juan Jose Hidalgo said that Air Europa, the AENA and the government have equally strong desire that the inter-island routes should be maintained.

The allocation of flight slots is governed by European legislation which now falls under the auspices of the Special Association of Control. It was stated that the initial allocation of slots available in Ibiza did not fit the plans of Air Europa and so at the current time the project has problems. Speaking in response Carmen Ferrer said that nothing would be decided until January 31st and that between now and then work could be undertaken to incorporate more Air Europa flights. Consellera de Turisme Ferrer went on to say that “despite there being many more applications for flights in the summer of 2015, the will of the people is to increase inter-island connectivity”, asking Ibiza “to be patient” while the Special Association for Control considered the matter further.

New facility for Formentera ferries

President of the Balearic Islands Port Authority (APB) Alberto Pons has presented a blue print for Ibiza’s new terminal to serve Formentera’s ferries. Situated in the old commercial docks the new 30.000m2 building has a 2016 target date for completion. The project incorporates panoramic glass walls with views of the Dalt Vila, shaded garden areas and playgrounds within a low rise design minimising visual impact on the surrounding area. Pons described the customer friendly facilities as being important to ‘make waiting bearable’.

Hoteliers fed up with illegal renting

  • Call for property rentals to be on even playing field

Bemoaning the ever increasing practise of renting private property as holiday accommodation to the tourist market,  the association of hoteliers in Ibiza and Formentera (FehiF) has stated that it is “fed up” with the situation in a written complaint to the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC).

Quoting examples such as the AirBnB website which actively encourages private individuals to rent their accommodation to visitors, the association lists liability and property insurance, staff on legal contracts with social security contributions, adherence to food hygiene regulations and corporate taxation among the reasons that make fair competition impossible hence leaving them at an unfair disadvantage.

Presenting written arguments, FehiF president Juanjo Riera states there can be “only two solutions”. Riera’s missive argues that “Private renting must be either prohibited, punishable and thus pursued, or accepted and allowed, in which case it must operate under the same strict laws and regulations as the Hoteliers.”

Riera also raised the issue of private holiday rentals blurring the lines between residential and tourism demarcation in town planning legislation.

Double Dutch to Eindhoven

Airline Transavia commenced a twice weekly direct flight from Ibiza airport to Eindhoven in Holland on Tuesday. The inaugural flight landed in Ibiza at 9.15a.m. and was greeted by Airport Director Roberto Llamas and Carmen Ferrer, Councillor of Tourism. In true Ibiza fashion the new service was celebrated by the serving of a special commemorative tart to passengers and crew.

The Eindhoven route which will fly on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the winter and is one of only two direct international flights to the island this year, the second being British Airways to London City.

Not Just Sun, Sand & Beaches.

The Balearic Government is spending 3 million € on 158 special projects to promote Mallorca, Ibiza, Formentera, Menorca and the City of Palma. With the specific objective of conveying the message that the tourist destinations have more to offer than just sun, sea and sand, the promotion will be centred on international tourist fares plus specialised tourist agent workshops and visits. They also intend to develop blogs showing all we have to offer potential tourists in terms of natural environment, nautical activities, sports, culture, congress facilities, gastronomy and health.

Particular focus will be on the Spanish market which, as the 3rd most important tourist market for the islands after the British and German, is in need of a revival after the effects of the economic crisis in Spain.

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