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The Mayor's Views - San Antonio, Ibiza

Ibiza Spotlight's news team has been out and about interviewing the mayors

Ibiza Spotlight's news team has been out and about interviewing the mayors of the five boroughs. We put the same 5 questions to each mayor, on subjects which will be of interest to tourists both young and old who are planing on visiting the island. There were some interesting responses and we start with José Sala, Mayor of San Antonio de Portmany.

1. What type of tourism currently dominates the district of San Antonio and what type of tourist are you trying to attract?

San Antonio is lucky in that it caters for various sectors of the tourist industry. British and Spanish visitors make up the bulk of our visitors, due in part to our geographical location on the island and the activities and preferences on offer. Contrary to public belief, we not only satisfy the needs of the youth market, but also that of the more mature client.

Between the natural beauty of our municipality- the sunsets, the sea, the beaches and surrounding countryside, the nightlife options and sporting activities on offer, we feel that San Antonio really does have something for everyone.

Our cultural heritage, folklore and gastronomy as well as the opportunity to partake in a wide range of sporting activities (especially nautical) guarantees the visitor a diverse and full holiday itinerary.

Effectively, San Antonio has a wide range of entertainment and pastimes on offer, and this is exactly what we strive for. The common misconception that San Antonio is filled only with young and disruptive party-goers, a notion that has damaged our reputation in the past, is slowly but surely disappearing.

2. What facilities are on offer for the off season visitor?

The low season in San Antonio is, in actual fact, the best time to appreciate some of the borough’s finer qualities. The off peak months are ideal for discovering the beauty and attractions of both the villages and natural surroundings of San Antonio. The ethnographic and cultural heritage, gastronomy and wine making (we have no less than three vineyards), walking and cycle routes scattered throughout the district, and the wide range of water sports including fishing, sailing, canoeing and diving guarantee such a wide range of off season pastimes that any visitor should feel that there are activities that cater to their particular taste.

However, in saying all that, we are also conscious that is yet more work to be done in order to encourage more tourists to come to San Antonio, and indeed the island in general, throughout the winter months. Obviously, fewer hotels and guest houses open their doors after peak season and this combined with the scarcity of flights (and their elevated prices) both from the mainland and Europe as a whole added to the fact that the island would appear to be missing a key winter product to offer the public; such as a high standard of golf course, something that our competitors in Mallorca already offer. We hope that this short falling will soon become a thing of the past.

3. What improvements are currently being carried out to the borough of San Antonio?

Both the public and private infrastructures of San Antonio are constantly improving. The hotels and what they offer are progressively and continually being updated in accordance with the demands of the client, whilst the public sector is striving to provide an infrastructure and service which tallies in with modern day demands.

Our maritime and bus stations, the road structures both within San Antonio and adjoining villages, particularly with reference to the restoration of our commercial sector and the pedestrianization of certain central zones, the modern sport installations, the amplifying and modernization of the Sailing Club and the port, walking areas found within the entire district, the attention being paid to improve our national heritage and cultural sites (churches, Punta des Moli, Cova de santa Agnes, Cova des Ví), the cyclist and walking routes that I mentioned previously.

To sum up, San Antonio in the present day is a modern municipality which offers a broad range of services and activities in line with modern day standards. We are continually striving to reach higher standards.

4. What will be the impact and/or the consequences for the island of the new legislation on club closing hours?

The new legislation regarding the opening and closing hours of the islands prime clubs and discos should serve to consolidate the diversity of all the tourist activities already mentioned. It will permit that our municipality and island in general will be able to be enjoyed by a wider range of tourist, no matter what their preference, thereby ensuring that there is no negative effect on the tourist who comes to the island to enjoy other pastimes.

And the most important, the regulation of the disco hours should not be seen to be having a detrimental effect on the music scene on the island, which, as we are all aware of, is one of, if not the most important attractions to our tourist market. The fact is, our aim is neither to alienate nor discard the musical activities that take place on the island in summer months, we simply want to regulate and combine them with the other aspects of our tourism.

5. What are your expectations for the coming season?

I always try and avoid making predictions on the coming seasons as it’s hard to ascertain what will happen in reality. I feel its better to look at the results in the end of year reports, and to date these last years have proved to be very favourable. Let’s hope that this continues in 2008, particularly with regards to the need to expand the tourist season and make the island accessible throughout the whole year, or at very least the best part of it.

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