(Via: Ibizavoice) The auspices are good. Already, in April, the sky above Ibiza is flawlessly blue, the sun is blazing, and the racket of building work suggests pre-season preparations are in full swing. Can you feel that cool spring breeze blowing? That’s the wind of change, as it’s an election year in the Balearics and – what with North Africa in flames of revolution – local businesses and tourism experts are rubbing their hands with Schadenfreude. Political strife in popular holiday spots like Tunisia means tourists are more likely to return to safe, comfortable, familiar Ibiza.

A pocket-swelling season is good news for local businesses like hotels and restaurants, but noises from the clubs suggest the boom time will reignite a long-standing controversy over pricing. Word has it that the Zoo Project, long a cheap-and-cheerful worker’s bash – will be charging €50 on the door. DC10, the erstwhile bastion of low(er) cost clubbing long ago jumped on the inflation bandwagon, meaning that there is basically no club on the island – bar maybe some cheesy nights in San An – where an ordinary punter can walk in for less than a whopping €50.

Some will argue that well, no one pays the door price anyway, but that’s not strictly true. Sure, if you’ve been to Ibiza before you can probably sniff out the low-cost ticket vendors, or get a bargain if you are willing to turn up at Space so early you stand around on an empty terrace for three hours, but who wants that? The fact is, most people coming to Ibiza – and especially first-time visitors – are going to get stuck for the full ticket price of any club they go to, which might be as high as €70, €80 or even €100.

So what? They either pay it, or not, right? Yes and no. Of course, they’ll probably pay it once. In the heat of holiday excitement they might go to two or three club nights, and drop hundreds of euros into promoter’s bulging coffers. But when they get home and the hangover kicks in there will be serious cause for buyer’s remorse. With the pound pegged almost level to the euro, those credit card bills or bank statements are going to make for scary reading. And while circumstances may conspire to deliver big profits to clubs and promoters in 2011 if they use this summer as an opportunity to gouge visitors for the maximum amount of cash the knock-on effect will carry over to next year… and the year after that.

Ultimately, good business in Ibiza is about loyalty. Clubbers can, and will, and do come here year after year. But with increasingly strict sanctions on outdoor music, no after-parties, and staggeringly high club prices, it is becoming a posh option. If the clubs are smart, they’ll work to secure the loyalty of new visitors by offering them unforgettable parties without leaving them feeling as if they’ve been mugged. Otherwise, this year’s cash crop could well turn into next year’s drought.

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