This year’s high season, particularly August, was disappointing for most holiday-let owners in Ibiza and Formentera, claims a local trade association. Roberto San Esteban, president of the islands’ Holiday Lets Association (Asociación de Viviendas Turísticas Vacacionales de las Pitiusas in Spanish), blames “unjustified price hikes” for the fall in demand.
In an article published in the Spanish daily El Mundo on the 17th September 2017, San Esteban explained that prices have risen for no reason other than Ibiza is doing well. As a result of high prices, holidaymakers have visited for shorter periods, or chosen other destinations such as Greece and Croatia, where prices are more affordable.
Although July was a good month, August performed badly for two-thirds of serviced holiday apartments, and for many owners of holiday lets. That said, good-value holiday lets have had a good season, and enjoyed high occupancy rates.
“Ibiza has become very expensive, and many people cannot afford a full week in August, as they have done up till now,” San Esteban said. “Instead they’re coming for two or three nights, which used to be the case only in hotels.”
Serviced apartments cannot juggle short-stay bookings, and so have been unable meet the new type of demand. As a result, lots of holidaymakers have chosen options on booking platforms that do allow shorter stays and bookings by the day, although in non-regulated accommodation.
Holiday-rental scams on the rise
Fraud is also a growing problem, reports San Esteban. His Association is aware of almost 50 victims of online booking scams this year. “The scammers offer properties that aren’t available, and lift photos and property descriptions from other websites. They advertise at half-price rates, and many clients discover on arrival that the properties don’t exist.”