While Ibiza has long enjoyed a reputation for being a vibrant, exciting destination for Europe’s young-and-free demographic, the island has enough resources and character to expand its attractions.
In fact, given the rise of other similar tourist destinations like Phuket in Thailand and Cancun in Mexico, it might be high time for the three million annual tourists in Ibiza to experience something more than boisterous EDM parties and look for other ways to enjoy the island.
Sure, Ibiza has historical and natural wonders, like Dalt Villa, Ibiza Cathedral, and the Museo Puget, as well as Es Vedra and Cala Comte. But in order to attract a new demographic, the island needs to undergo a change. Luckily, many locals and tourists alike have their Ibiza renaissance wish-list ready.
Enough Room For Gamers
Sure, the island has the Ibiza Gran Hotel, located on the golden mile, which includes the Casino de Ibiza. However, there’s a lot of stiff competition just off the island. Located a short day-trip away, visitors can head to Monte Carlo, Monaco, home to the most breathtaking casinos in the world and, on their way, they can stop off in Barcelona to play a hand at the Casino Barcelona—and this itinerary doesn’t even include the ample deposit matches available in online gaming that can be accessed from a mobile device.
Casino de Ibiza, on the other hand, caters to tourists rather than locals, which can mean a loud floor, a busy waitress, and few empty seats at tables. While there’s likely a way to make an environment suitable for both suede loafers and rubber flip-flops, this type of development should also be a welcoming space for the island’s 150,000 year-long residents.
Local government, rental car companies, and native drivers are trapped in a gridlock given the island’s ongoing expansion of pedestrian-only walkways. While locals (and everyone else) support efforts to make the island an eco-friendly destination and home, there’s a serious lack of parking area.
The competition for space and other general resources between tourists and locals is nothing new. If anything, it’s an ongoing conversation. However, it’s the responsibility of local governance to ordain resident-only spaces which, for the time being, don’t appear often. Ibiza’s blue lines (which identify paid parking spaces) are a battle zone for everyone behind the wheel, and the absolute inundation of rental car companies has only exacerbated this problem—especially considering that companies hire few locals and also haven’t been rated highly by tourists using their services.
Eat Flaó After Every Meal
Eating flan in Ibiza signifies a lot more than just a delicious little cheese tartlet. In fact, eating flan after every meal isn’t so much about supporting local restaurants—it’s about respecting culture.
Ibiza is a cultural isolate and the Spanish language that tourists think they’re hearing isn’t really Spanish, according to Ibizans. It’s a subset of Spanish, but these finer cultural identifiers are often drowned out by the flashing lights and loud music of the island’s golden mile.
Many tourists leave without ever understanding some key points about life on the White Island other than what they read in a pamphlet. For instance, most Ibizans overeat at Los Valencianos at least once a month; everyone has a neighbor named Toni, Maria, or Joan; the wooden bridge near the car park at Salinas Beach can’t be trusted; and, no matter what people say, locals think the ashram at Cala Comte is beautiful.
Add Another Calendar Day
For tourists, adding a day to their summer vacation is a no-brainer, but for locals, this addition to the wish list is more about survival. Given the island’s reliance on tourist dollars, many people spend the months of May through October working non-stop. And, given that travelers are there to relax, they wouldn’t mind sharing that tranquility with locals, either.
In fact, the hours worked during the high season can be so intense that many consider it near-impossible to have a full day off. While locals spend the off-season months eating Sunday meals with family, kicking their feet up, and complaining about the bitter cold, they’ll spend nearly six months of the year working backbreaking hours.