Double Dutch

2016 Figures Show a Record High for the Low Countries, but is the German Love Affair Over?

  • Business from Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg up over 40%.
  • Brits continue to be far and away the largest national group.
  • Everywhere on the up, but Spain and Germany way behind the rest.

The official FRONTUR tourists stats have been released by the Balearic statistics institute, and the figures for the full year to 31st December show some interesting insights to the world tourist market’s relative love affair with brand Ibiza.

  • Everywhere is up.

The FRONTUR figures are the only ones that matter in the tourist industry.

Ibiza Tourism to 31st December 2016
 People% Change
Total2,976,08712.6
U.K.842,0049.5
Spain650,7302.1
Italy395,88613.2
Germany330,4280.6
France149,28134.3
Rest of World317,42326.2
Hol, Bel, Lux317,69240.7

 

The good news for those relying on tourism for their income, or bad news for those bemoaning the ability to find beach towel space in August, is that for the umpteenth year in a row, all recorded sectors of Ibizan tourism are up.

The British account for by far the largest proportion of holidaymakers, and with a 9.5% increase at 842k, are well placed to break the 1 million target set by Ibiza’s tourism chiefs at this year’s London trade show—though they will requires a bigger year on year increase in 2017 than 2016 to achieve it.

A small point, but worthy of mention for those interested in developing winter trade, is that the UK figures to the end of October were showing an increase of over 10%. This drop back by half a percent in the last months of the year can only indicate a reduction in winter tourism. It seems that although BA’s winter scheduled service is being well used by residents and business travellers, it is not having a positive effect on winter tourist numbers.

Of everything that can be gained from raw numbers, it is the huge increase in business from the Dutch/Belgian/Luxembourg market that really stands out. This grouping was not available in the figures to the end of October when they were grouped with ‘rest of the world’.

This 40% increase in business from the low countries leaves them snapping at the heels of the Germans for 4th largest grouping. To put the surge in interest into context, were these figure to be repeated in 2017, the Dutch grouping would overtake the Italians into 3rd place with only the Spanish and UK  ahead of them.

Another figure that will be raising eyebrows amongst Ibiza’s tourist chiefs is that of the continuing decline in the growth of holidaymakers from Germany and Spain.

Though the figures still show an increase on the previous year, at 2.1% the Spanish figure is less than a quarter of the next lowest in Britain, and the German figure of just 0.6% is 16 times less than the British.

  • Is the German love affair with Ibiza on the wain?

Ibiza’s representatives at the Berlin trade fair went to lengths to argue they had redressed the German market reduction in growth, so all eyes will be on the figures for the coming season. If the German trend continues in 2017, they would become the first grouping to show a reduction in business since, well actually since nobody knows. The current methodology in the collection of FRONTUR figures has never shown a drop in business of any grouping.

  • Does it matter?

Perhaps it doesn’t matter at all. Overall Ibiza’s numbers are up, up and away. The envy of many a Mediterranean isle or hedonist hotspot.  Overall, brand Ibiza looks to be in very good shape indeed.

Average Length of Stay

Much has been said of a perceived reduction of the average length of stay. Though figures do show a reduction, it is far lower than may be expected.

Av Nights20162008
Balearics6.06.2
Ibiza/Form5.05.5
U.K.5.76.2
Spain3.83.9
Italy4.76.5
Germany6.76.9
France4.35.8

 

Over the period from 2008 (when figures start) to present, the overall reduction in length of stay in Ibiza and Formentera is just 0.5 days, from an average of 5.5 in 2008 to an average of 5 in 2016.

Though this average duration is lower than the 6 days stay for the wider Balearic Islands as a whole, and the drop is greater than the 0.2 days reduction for the region, it is far lower than those suggesting a major shift in the duration of holidays would have suspected.

Leading the international table of duration of stay are the Germans at 6.7 nights, followed by the British at 5.7 nights. Lowest on the table are the Spanish with 3.8 days.

Average Room Rate

Though Ibiza falls behind the Balearics on average duration of stay, it far outstrips the region when it comes to the average room rate.

Av Room RateBalearic Islands  Eivissa-Formentera  
 av Ratean changeav Ratean change
5 Star211 €27%307 €75%
4 Star97 €13%127 €27%
3 Star75 €16%91 €0%
2 Star61 €15%66 €5%
1 Star64 €20%83 €28%

 

What will come as little surprise to many is that the highest hotel grade 5 star shows a massive change in Ibiza, with an average tariff of 307€ per night, a whopping 75% increase year on year, and almost 50% more than the Balearic average.

The differences are apparent, but less extreme, throughout all grades of Hotel.

Ibiza’s average 4 star is 127€, 27% up on the previous year and around 25% up on the Balearic average, through to 83€ for 1 star (strangely showing as more expensive than 2 star), 28% up on the 2015.

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