IBIZA fears the end of the party island’s nightlife which attracts British tourists every year with “entire streets” of bars unlikely to be able to open ever again.
The Balearic Island region is reliant on tourism with major music festivals and club nights which normally take place during the summer being forced to cancel.
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While the islands are trying to rally airlines to restart flights to the island, low-cost airlines Ryanair and Jet2 are to remain grounded until at least mid-June.
Tourists are also unlikely to return at all during the summer, with Spain prioritising domestic tourism at first, and only then will limited overseas travellers begin to book holidays again.
Balearic Islands tourism minister Iago Negueruela has already warned that Brits will not be among those returning to the area this summer.
He told local media last month: “There are countries like the United Kingdom that took too long to adopt confinement measures.”
And with the party season over, it may be too late to expect normality on the music scene.
Ibiza club owner Phil Mandelbaum said smaller bars and clubs could face permanent closure if the busy tourist season fails to pick up in the next few months.
He told the Guardian: “You’ll see 15 bars along the same street as one of the main clubs, places that only open in the summer and stay afloat because people stop there for a drink on the way to a club.
“That’s a big part of Ibiza, the small bars and the shops. I’m expecting many of them to disappear.”
Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong, who has been visiting the island every season since the 1980s, said locals have “pretty much accepted” that there will be no tourist season this year.
Larger clubs, such as Ibiza Rocks and Pacha are hoping to survive, with the latter launching an online house party last month.
Hoteliers in Ibiza are also calling for the tourist tax to be scrapped for two years in a bid to win British holidaymakers back to the islands again.
Currently, tourists pay approximately £3.50 a night, depending on the category of their accommodation and the time of year, meaning couples face paying an extra £50 for a seven-night holiday.
Hotel Federation of Ibiza and Formentera vice-president, Juanjo Riera told Periodico de Ibiza: “It is no longer just knowing when Spanish tourists will be able to travel, it is about our main foreign market, which is the British one and we still do not know when it will be able to travel.”
Holidays to Spain are unlikely to be the same for a long time post-pandemic with new restrictions and social distancing measures.
Tourists may have to sunbathe 6ft apart even after the end of the coronavirus crisis, as well as dine at restaurants in plastic booths.
Hotels and resorts will also face strict new procedures, including closing common areas, operating at limited capacity and ridding of the buffet and room service.
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