Welcome to a new edition of Local News in
Ibiza. As you may well know, this is the height of the summer
season in Ibiza, when all the hotels are full to capacity
and the discotheques reach record ticket sales. This is the
time of year that allows people to decide whether the season
has been 'good' or 'bad', if the streets are less busy than
last summer, if the beaches are less crowded... everyone uses
the month of August as a reference on just how well the summer
The airport uses the 15th and 16th August
as a guide to determine whether the tourist industry has increased
or decreased in comparison to previous years. These dates
are especially significant to the airport considering that
it is the middle of the month and they coincide with a national
holiday that should increase the number of tourists and flights.
A total of 49,922 tourists from 346 flights passed through
the airport this year on these two days. These figures reveal
a slight drop of 320 people in comparison to this time last
August, even though the second week of this month registered
an increase of passengers of 1.29%.
A recent survey done by the airport has
revealed that when these figures are broke-down, the British
market is the most important for Ibiza's tourism bringing
38.7% of the total tourist industry that visits the island
in a year. The Germans follow with 26.3%, followed by the
Spanish (11.9%), the Italians (8%) and, finally the French
Ibiza has definitely changed into one of
the holiday destinations that attract tourists from all over
Among all the airport's passengers, the
most important new arrival was Mohamed Usman, a baby born
at 8,000 metres above Ibiza.
Sani and Rahina Usman are Nigerian and were
both travelling on the flight Ivory Coast-Amsterdam when eight
months pregnant Rahina went into labour. Lucky enough one
of the passengers on the plane was a doctor that attended
Rahina's every need. The doctor informed the crew on board
about the necessity of landing at the nearest airport, which
in this case was Ibiza, so that Rahina could be taken to hospital
before she gave birth. But it was too late, Rahina could not
wait that long and so baby Mohamed was born at four o'clock
in the morning on Monday 13th on the seats of the KLM travel
If Mohamed had been born as predicted, three
weeks later, the Usman family would have been in England as
they were flying to London via Amsterdam. The objective of
this trip was to make sure that their son was born in England
to assure that he would have British nationality. But destiny
brought them to Ibiza making Mohamed a Spanish citizen with
August is also becoming a characteristic
busy month for the Capitanía Marítima (Harbour
Department) who have registered record breaking numbers of
boats, yachts, ferries and cruise ships occupying the Ibiza
The most significant figures, reported by
the Ferry Company Umafisa Lines, have been the amount of cruise
ships that this year chose Ibiza as one of their many destinations.
This year has seen a total of 90 cruise
ships, a slight increase in comparison to last years 88.
Another fact revealed by Umafisa Lines shows
that the last cruise ship to visit Ibicencan waters this summer
will be on the 30th November, proving that the summer season
is becoming longer each year.
Capitanía Marítima also informed
that the number of private yachts docked in the Ibiza port
are also on the up, forcing the port officials to turn-down
lots of regular customers that, instead of making reservations,
ring the port at the last minute hoping to find a place for
their luxurious water homes.
More figures on the up are those of cars.
Although all summer traffic congestion is usually blamed on
the local 'rent a car' companies, most of the cars that arrive
on the island are brought over by tourists or seasonal workers
that bring over their own personal cars.
Ibiza's traffic chaos is caused mainly because,
on top of the 90,000 vehicles that are registered on the island,
we have to add hundreds of other cars that arrive every day
on the main ferries coming from Denia, Valencia, Barcelona
and Mallorca ports.
During the height of the season, up to 730
new cars a day arrive in Ibiza which means that, on average
during the summer, our island is inundated with 22,000 new
cars a month, causing huge traffic jams on the main entrances
and exits of the busiest towns.
On the other hand, the 'rent a car' companies
have criticised that all the traffic problems are blamed on
them when it is in fact the Govern balear (Balearic Government)
that should control the amount of vehicles allowed on the
As usual, the sun, sea and Ibiza magic has
attracted societies 'jet-set'. A whole new crowd of famous
faces have visited our island in the past few days. The first
VIP on my list is the president of the Spanish Government
who arrived on the island on Friday 10th August at 23:30 hours.
José María Aznar and his wife
Ana Botella arrived in a military aeroplane (for security
reasons) to spend a long weekend aboard the 'Aiglón',
a luxury yacht belonging to the ex-Vice President of the Spanish
Government, Abel Matutes. The presidential couple attended
a private party in Abel Matutes' house before boarding the
'Aiglón' at three o'clock in the morning to spend the
night at sea.
Aznar and his wife spent all-day Saturday
and Sunday visiting the nicest beaches along the Ibicencan
coasts as well as spending time at their favourite island,
The president of the Government left Ibiza
on Sunday 12th August to travel back to Menorca where he and
his family are spending their entire summer vacations.
Another popular celebrity who has showed
his face in Ibiza is Bono, the famous Irish lead-singer from
the band U2. Bono decided that Ibiza would be a good place
for a quick break after one of his concerts in Barcelona,
so he made the short journey from mainland Spain just to visit
Pacha discotheque. In Pacha he met-up with fellow celebrities
such as supermodel Elle McPherson, artist Lorenzo Quinn and
rapper Puff Daddy. Bono apparently spent the night on a friend's
yacht before departing first thing in the morning. It is believed
that the popular singer managed to spend nearly 2.000.000
pesetas in Pacha's VIP area, all in all an expensive night
One of the big surprises of the summer has
been a short visit from the 68-year-old British actress Joan
Collins. The evil 'Alexis' from the eighties hit series 'Dynasty'
spent a day touring the Mediterranean Sea aboard the North-American
Joan Collins has been seen in different
Mediterranean locations over the years but I believe that
this was her first time cruising on Ibicencan waters, and
no doubt will not be her last.
Another 'star' that has been causing a scene
is Sean 'Puffy' Combs, better known as singer/actress Jennifer
Lopez's ex-boyfriend Puff Daddy. The New York rapper caused
quite a stir at the port in Ibiza Town when he decided to
through his own private party aboard the 'Samax', one of the
most luxurious yachts that have docked in the port this summer.
Crowds of on-lookers, attracted by the loud
music, gathered outside the entrance to the 'Samax' hoping
to catch sight of the star. Two of the biggest and most threatening
bodyguards you have ever seen, dressed in black suits, made
sure that the crowds of curious people did not get anywhere
near 'Puffy'. The rapper, famous for his violent out-breaks,
seemed to be perfectly relaxed and happy aboard his yacht,
'Puffy' even had time for a quick manicure before his evening
meal. Rumour has it that among 'Puffy's' guests for dinner
were supermodel Claudia Schiffer and Julio José Iglesias,
son of the famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias.
After an 'all-star' dinner, Puff Daddy abandoned
the 'Samax' for a night clubbing in Pacha discotheque.
It has been a bad week for the Guardia Civil
(Civil Guards) police. A technical study has revealed that
the Guardia Civil's headquarters in San Jordi, home to more
than fifty families with a police connection, will have to
be knocked down as soon as possible as this building is considered
to be a danger to all its occupants. The building, which has
been a home for all the Guardia Civil personnel for many years,
should be emptied before 2002 to avoid any possible incidents.
The Guardia Civil's house district was built
in the mid 1960s and, after the first report was issued ten
years ago declaring that the building was unsafe, lots of
people thought that it would not be long before this building
ended in disaster. Ten years on and it is still standing but
the situation has become so serious that the fifty families
are demanding a solution to this never-ending problem. The
Administrative director of the State, Marienna Sánchez-Jáuregui,
has assured the people that they will be able to occupy the
old army barracks of sa Coma once the military service stops
operating in 2002.
The new week has also brought bad news for
the local supermarket chain Diskont that decided on Monday
13th August to close half of their many shops on the island.
They have revealed that behind this shocking decision lies
the problem of too many large supermarket companies arriving
on the island offering bigger, better and cheaper services
to the local clients.
As promised in last week's edition, here
goes an update on the MTV Ibiza summer festival. The controversy
surrounding the event has forced MTV to look for a new solution
after the Lord Mayor of San Antonio, Antoni Marí Tur,
and the Consell Insular (Island Council) refused to grant
a licence for the music festival to be held in the San Rafael
The latest development in the story is that
the concert will still be held on the 29th August but at a
different location, the San Rafael discotheque Privilege that
has a legal capacity for 4,000 people.
Although this new plan has not yet been
confirmed, it seems to be the only solution that will keep
the San Rafael neighbours, the local politicians and MTV Europe
happy. More next week.