Ibiza’s crystal blue seas and world-class nightclubs have long made the island a hotspot tourist destination, but a surging increase in visitors over the past year has seen the White Isle struggling to cope from the strain.
Instability around the borders of south-east Europe and in North Africa has made formerly popular holiday locations such as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt less appealing to the masses, who are turning to Ibiza and neighbouring Balearic islands instead.
It is expected that Ibiza will see a record number of tourists in 2016, and concerns about the environment and availability of clean water are growing.
Pulse Radio reached out to Vincente Torres, head of the local government’s Department of Tourism, to get his thoughts on the matter.
He stated that Ibiza cannot handle the increase of tourism, adding: “We have a limited capacity being an island. Not only regarding capacity of people, but also regarding capacity of potable water, other important infrastructures such as roads, treatment and desalination plants, etc. Also, we have to mention matters such as the noise or pollution.
“Nowadays we have nearly 100,000 legal touristic beds and a registered population of 13,000 inhabitants, approximately. The island is just 572 km²; we cannot support much more increase in tourism.”
Measures are being taken to lessen the impact of the rise. A Sustainable Tourist Tax was implemented on July 1, with the money being put towards protection of the island’s resources.
A moratorium to build on certain areas has been approved, while a ban on tourists driving to the island has also been proposed.
In terms of combating water waste, Torres said: “In some areas we have already started renewing water pipes, since we know that a 40 percent (approximately) of water is wasted due to the bad conditions of the pipes. There is also a prohibition of getting water out of wells is specific periods during the year. This is a very important work that we are trying to manage in the best and most effective way.”
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter