Estimated 7.1 Million Goats Living on Es Vedra

18:11:2016 : Nick Gibbs

Well no of course there are not 7.1 million goats living on Es Vedra, but the figure is as likely as there being 7.1 million tourists visiting Ibiza in 2016, yet that amount is quoted by several large ‘Ibiza-centric’ websites, all of whom should have the resources to know better.

The figure of 7.1 million tourists on the island this year seems to have derived from a report in the Diario de Ibiza which was an account of statistics released by AENA, the airport authority.

Aena’s figures relate to the throughput of passengers at Ibiza airport, and so at the absolute maximum would be around half that number of tourists – arrivals and departures.

Though errors in translation do occur, we have to acknowledge that ourselves, that so many websites made the same mistake does beg the question, who is copying who?

To put this numerical clanger into perspective, we all know how packed the island feels already – imagine what it would be like with double the number of tourists in August – Ibiza would surely burst at the seams. Or perhaps sink.

Prolific Ibizan facepager Adrian Harris  pointed out the discrepancy on his timeline. “Can we clear this up once and for all please? 7.1 million *passed* through ibiza airport up till October that is undisputed – now some people think that means 7 million people *arrived* AND 7m *departed* (since by definition a tourist also has to leave) – OR is it the actual numbers who passed through – therefore actual realistic figures for tourists visiting ibiza via the airport is half that, say 3.6m – all the figures i ever recall seeing from aena are qualified as total throughput: arrivals and departures?”

Adrian is quite right, and many of us may say that AENA’s statistics do seem rather focused on constantly breaking records.

However they are interpreted, the AENA numbers are not the most reliable indicator of tourism anyway. The more important, and official, tourism statistic is the ‘flow of tourists (FONTUR)’. This includes arrivals by ferries, and excludes resident and other non tourist air traffic.

The total FONTUR figure to the end of September (October will be out any day) is 2,813,957, which is why you can still find a metre or two free on a beach to lay down your beach towel.

We will publish season tourism results comparatively with past seasons as soon as the FONTUR October numbers are released. Until then there is little meaningful information to put out.