The Grupotel Ibiza Beach Resort (formerly Sensimar) was the first in Portinatx to convert to an exclusively adult clientele in 2014. Since then, it was followed by the Sandos El Greco Hotel in 2017 and the Barceló Portinatx. The only one of the large hotels in this nucleus that remained as an establishment aimed at families, the Presidente, has remained closed since its sale to an investment group, in 2018. The Portinatx Beach Club, located at the punta de sa Torre, does not veto minors, but its all-inclusive regime does not encourage its clientele to spread out much in the rest of the village.
After decades with a family clientele, the consolidation of Portinatx as a destination for adults especially affects the traditional trade, while hospitality thanks the higher spending generated by the dinkis (acronym for double-income no kids, ie double salary without children).
“Many families used to go for walks and the children always encouraged people to buy more, because they asked for toys for the beach,” recalls Elena Torres, a sales clerk at Souvenirs Mar y Sol. She also misses “the joy of the little ones, who are a breath of fresh air”.
Torres interrupts her answer to attend to three children asking for balls and water pistols. They are accompanied by two adults. One of them, Eva Gutiérrez, from Valencia, lived on the island until 15 years ago and since then she usually comes back to spend the summer. “Two years ago I came on vacation to a hotel here precisely because it was only for adults and I was looking for tranquility,” she recalls.
“The weekend in Portinatx is full of families with children who come from the rest of the island, but during the week you only see adults on the beach”
Obviously, couples with children can still spend their vacations in other tourist accommodations, such as apartments and hostels, “but Portinatx has changed a lot,” says Maria Marí, from Supermercado s’Arenal. “The weekend is full of families with children coming from the rest of the island, but during the week you only see adults on the beach with orange towels,” she says.
The color of these towels identifies the tourists of the Sandos El Greco, the largest of the resort with its 242 rooms. But, really, most of these visitors stay during the day on the sun loungers by the pool.
In Portinatx the sun loungers on the beach have not yet been allocated, “that’s why you see less people now”, says Vicente Quiles in his water activities concession. “The big downturn was noticed in 2017 and since then the adults only model has been consolidated. You still see families thanks to the villas and apartments, but far fewer,” he insists.
Quiles longs for the movement that the President generated with its 270 rooms, as does his neighbor Joan Escandell, of the Bahía de Portinatx Restaurant. However, and in the absence of the hundreds of tourists who will return when this hotel reopens, Escandell recognizes that he has gained from the change in the tourism model. “Before, the all-inclusive model affected us a lot, but now we are seeing a lot of money moving again, especially since the Sandos changed to half board,” he says.
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