North American tourism models a new Eivissa

First Eivissa belonged to the hippies, after the clubbers and now it belongs to North American tourism, which this summer is arriving in abundance, after last June the United States airline United launched the first direct connection flight between New York and Palma. His landing on the island, which after two years of hiatus has reopened nightlife, coincides with a facelift that is leaving it unrecognizable. “Before, I felt welcome here,” explains Swedish disc jockey Adeline, a resident of the Zoo Project nightclub, who has been visiting Eivissa for work for nine seasons. Getting a flat, room or renting a car is not only much more expensive in 2022 (a headline that is repeated in the news every summer), but after the pandemic it seems that the island is reconfiguring itself.

Everything is even more luxurious and homogeneous than before: “It looks like Las Vegas”, continues the DJ. Pointing out, for example, how almost all nightclubs have redirected their offer towards massive parties similar to those that take place in this American city, even with the same artists as headliners, which have little or nothing to do with musical culture of the island, with the aim of selling twice as many tickets as in 2019. “They are American EDM music DJs with millions of followers, but in Europe hardly anyone knows them,” explains Adeline, recalling that although each new season Ibiza starts loaded with novelties, the previous leisure model tried to please all audiences. “It was more open. Now it’s like ‘this is what we want to sell you, buy it’”.

In the restaurant sector the situation is similar. “There are few places left where you can eat well for less than 50 euros,” says David Reartes, chef at Reart, a gastronomic tavern located in the center of Eivissa that has an increasing number of North American customers. He, who has lived on the island for 20 years and has seen restaurants open and close everywhere, assures that this year’s grand openings are aimed at an average ticket of 250 euros per person. “The prices are exaggerated. It is true that in some of these restaurants you eat well, but for 300 euros I prefer to go to a three Michelin stars”. Those responsible for this are, according to him, the investment funds, which are increasingly interested in the largest of the Pitiusas: “Everything that is projected for next year is super luxury. I don’t know if there are room for so many private jets on the island”, he jokes, assuring that Eivissa is losing its essence and that hippie-chic is becoming hippies with a Rolex.

The island’s music programming has become similar to that offered by many Las Vegas clubs

In fact, the new commitments of the hotel sector are heading in this direction, in which luxury and sustainability increasingly go hand in hand. The general trend is to offer the client to reconnect with himself at a more intimate and profound level, providing well-being and good nutrition, of course, surrounded by the most exuberant nature connected with all kinds of comforts.

“Before luxury was focused on material things, now it is being redefined towards simple pleasures”, explains David Arraya, general director of Six Senses Ibiza, complex located in the bay of Xarraca that landed on the island last season. This 2022 they have released two mansions (at 15,000 euros per night) and 19 new private residences, increasing their room inventory to 137 keys.

During the month of July, almost 30% of the clientele that passed through this exclusive hotel belonging to the IHG group was American, Arraya points out, and the trend is for the figure to continue to grow, since the new New York-Palma flight is facilitating the access to those seeking privacy, tranquility and exclusivity on the neighboring island of Eivissa.

This summer more luxury vehicles are rented than average price, which proves the change in the type of tourism

In addition, this summer more luxury vehicles are rented than average prices, say the company Luxury Car Rental Ibiza VIP Experience, which shows the absence of average tourism on the island. According to Reartes, the number of private chefs has also increased –“many people who worked with us are now in this illegal business, where they can earn more than 100 euros per hour”–, as well as that of concierge that is to say, that strange figure who is dedicated to getting things (reservations in restaurants where it is impossible to find a table, VIP reservations at the best parties, etc.) so that his client can live the dream vacation.

“Eivissa has changed since the hippies, but the transformation towards extreme capitalism this year has accelerated. The culture that many of us came to the island for is moving to Croatia. I think I will also go there next summer”, concludes the Swedish DJ Adeline.

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