Here I am again with another edition of
Local News. The rain has started, the air is fresher, the
streets are cleaner and everyone is more relaxed now that
September has arrived.
The summer tourist season will soon be at
an end and everyone who has survived another summer in Ibiza
should have a certain feeling of accomplishment.
Officially the tourist season ends on the
30th October, but the Consell Insular (Island Council) and
the Federacion Hotelera (Hotels Federation) hopes that in
the future the beaches and the hotels will remain in use throughout
A new campaign aims to prolong the season
by attracting a totally new type of tourists to the island
for the winter months.
A two-hour meeting to discuss the new proposition
originated by the Consell Insular was held on Wednesday 5th
The president of the Consell Insular, Pilar
Costa, the councillor for Tourism, Josep Mari Ribas, and the
director of the Federacion Hotelera, Joan Bufi, all attended
to express their opinions about the new campaign that is expected
to be in operation for the winter of 2002.
Josep Mari Ribas said: "the existing
winter programme of activities would have to be extended if
we wanted to attract a different type of clientele for the
Cultural excursions, classical music concerts,
cycling routes, horse riding, nautical activities including
diving lessons were some of the many proposals put forward
as suggestions to attract more tourists in the "off"
"People that visit Ibiza in the summer
think that nothing happens here in the winter", said
Ribas, who is aiming to change this perception.
The president of the Federacion Hotelera,
Joan Bufi, assured the Consell Insular that the hotels will
back the new inactive 100%, but "a lot of effort will
have to be made to make this work. We will need a lot more
new ideas to insure that the campaign is a success".
The president of the Consell Insular, Pilar
Costa, explained how beneficial winter tourism would be for
the island's economy.
Let us hope that the campaign, which is
in its primary stage, is a success and that the locals will
be prepared to adjust to a longer tourist season.
This not only means more money for the workers
in the tourist industry but also more complaints from residents
about noise, etc. which some may not be prepared to tolerate
as a lot of residents look forward to the peace and quiet
of the winter time.
For some years now there has been plans
to extend the tourist season but this initiative seems to
be the most positive yet.
Let us hope that the tourist board has a
better start with this campaign than they did with the start
of this summer's campaign, when they planned to install a
new tourist information office in Ibiza Town.
The new portable office, which was expected
to be up and running at the start of the season, has still
not arrived from mainland Spain. The councillor for Tourism
for Ibiza Town Hall, Maurici Cuesta, has assured me that the
new office will be open next week. Cuesta also added that
"it is a shame that the office has not been open all
season but at least it will operate for the 45 days or so
that are left of the summer".
The new information office is portable and
can be transferred to different parts of the island for different
events, but until the end of this year it will remain in the
Vara de Rey square in Ibiza Town.
Maurici Cuesta went on to mention that Ibiza
tourist board is planning to be present at the same tourist
fairs that they attended last year.
The World Travel Market in London is top
of the tourist board's agenda for this winter as well as the
ITB fair in Berlin. The Ibiza tourist board will attend these
two important fairs as guests of the Balearic Tourist Association,
but when they travel to the Madrid and Barcelona tourist fairs,
Ibiza will have its own publicity stand.
One of the most important factors for English
tourists planning to visit the island next year will be the
change of currency.
The first consignment of Euro has already
arrived in Ibiza. The Catalan bank Sa Nostra, acting on behalf
of the Banco de España (Bank of Spain), received approximately
400 million pesetas worth of Euros (2,4 million Euro) between
Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th September. This large amount of
money, all in coins, will be divided between all the banks
in Ibiza and Formentera.
Security was tight as bags and bags of new
coins were delivered to the Sa Nostra bank in Ibiza Town.
The director of the bank, Angel Lloreda, said that "a
total of 1,500 million pesetas worth of Euros (9 million Euro)
will be delivered to Ibiza and Formentera during the next
few months (approximately 175 tons of coins)".
Saturday 15th December will be the first
day people can go into their local banks and purchase a sample
bag of the new Euro coins. The bag will contain 43 different
coins, equivalent in value to 2,000 pesetas and it is hoped
that this will give people a chance to get used to the new
European currency before the official launch day of 1st January
2002 when the currency becomes legal tender throughout the
The delivery date for the new Euro notes
to Ibicencan banks is still to be confirmed, but the Bank
of Spain has assured me that all banks will be fully stocked
long before 1st January.
The Euro and the peseta will be in circulation
side by side for a short period from 1st January to 28th February.
The peseta will cease to be legal tender from 1st March 2002,
but banks will still accept the peseta until 30th June to
give people time to change the old for the new.
On the same day last week as the Euro arrived
in Ibiza, one of Ibiza Town's jewellery shops experienced
an unusual robbery. The method used by the robbers to enter
the shop was originated in America and is called ram raiding.
This form of robbery involves driving a vehicle, in this case
a stolen BMW car, into the shop front, the occupants of the
vehicle then help themselves to everything they can get their
hands on as quickly as possible tossing all their loot into
the car and making a speedy get-away.
This is the first ram-raiding robbery to
have taken place in Ibiza and let us hope it is the last.
Once again this proves that America leads the way, not only
in the bad, but also in the good and one of the good things
that has come from America to Ibiza this week are the hundreds
of Harley Davidson motorbikes that are taking part in the
Ibiza Bike Week.
The largest concentration of these bikes
took place on the night of 5th September in the Recinto Ferial
(Ibiza's exhibition centre) and, despite the rain, was a huge
success. Accompanying the roar of the Harleys was the sound
of the English heavy metal group Saxon, the German group U.D.O.
and Statuas.d.Sal, a local Ibicencan rock group that at last
have gained a huge following around Spain and Europe.
The bikers have also been travelling all
around the island for many different reunions and parties,
and some Ibiza residents have not taken to kindly to hundreds
of motorbikes waking them up in the middle of the night and
parking somewhat inconsiderably on the pavements. As a result
of several complaints about the bikers, officers of the Guardia
Civil (Civil Guards) have been patrolling the streets issuing
fines of up to 100,000 pesetas to any biker parked on the
footpath, not wearing a crash helmet or under the influence.
Just because some residents, whose tolerance
levels are low at this time of year, complain about the bikers,
most people on the island consider them to be advantageous
to the island.
Some DJ's also fall into this category,
especially the famous DJ's that took part in a series of four
DJ competitions held at Coastline Cafe in San Antonio and
organized by DJ Buff Wise, resident DJ at Manumission's 'Bar
M' also in San Antonio.
The DJ's raised a grand total of 830,000
pesetas during the competitions which was donated by DJ Buff
Wise on Sunday 2nd September to the Asociacion de Personas
con Necesidades Especiales de Eivissa y Formentera (Ibiza
and Formentera's Association for People with Special Needs).
It is nice to hear that these DJ's, who
are normally frantically busy in the summer months can take
the time and are willing to donate their services to worthwhile
local charities. DJ Buff's example is one to follow.