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Big changes in San Antonio, Ibiza

Earlier in the year two big changes were announced for San Antonio in Ibiza, causing a few raised eyebrows among locals and visitors alike. Let Holiday Taxis put the record straight about the real story.

The first was slightly less controversial, and involved the craft market.
The council in San Antonio wanted tourists to explore a little more of the town and they thought that if they made the town more inviting, people would be more likely to wander around and possibly spend money in a wider range of places.

So they proposed to move the craft market that takes place in the evening next to the fountains (Passeig de ses Fonts), re-siting it in a square near the Ship Inn. The craft market would still continue at its former venue on Friday afternoons during the tourist season.

However, the council was probably not prepared for the resistance of the stallholders who have been trading from the main front at San Antonio for 30 years and who did not want to move away from the front and into the town.

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The council was determined that regeneration of the town was dependent on moving some attractions away from the front. The craft market is popular, so tourists would want to find their way to it. So the master plan is now in place, routing visitors towards cafes and shops who could do with the business.

The other change has been far more controversial. Supermarkets and shops in San Antonio can no longer sell alcoholic drinks between 12 midnight and 8am.

So clubbers and diners are not going to be able to grab a couple of bottles of wine and kick back on the beach, partying through the night. Or rather they are, but they’ll need to get their supplies sorted in advance. One of the reasons for this ban is that there is a lot of beach litter, including glass on the beaches in the morning.

And with no shops selling alcohol, bars that are open will see a pickup in their trade. Once they close, San Antonio becomes a dry town for a few hours with no alcohol on sale anywhere. This measure has been taken because of the unruly behaviour of a minority of holidaymakers and some incidences of minors being found drunk in the town.

The canny town council has also figured out that people might walk around drinking alcohol disguised as soft drinks or water. So it’s banned all street drinking of any kind of liquid, including soft drinks. There’s a fine of up to 750 euros, so they are clearly deadly serious. They even went so far as to explain they wouldn’t fine children, so we can see pretty clearly who they have in their sights.

People will still be able to drink on terraces, but they won’t be allowed to carry plastic glasses out onto the street and gather in groups to drink outside.

Some of the locals have welcomed the change, commenting that shops were not legally allowed to sell alcohol after 12:00 AM anyway but that the police have never been able to enforce the law. So now, the only change is that the existing law is being enforced.

However, others have pointed out that not only will people stock up beforehand but “dial a drink” mobile alcohol sellers may emerge.

No doubt during the quieter winter months, locals, traders and the council will consider whether these two moves have made San Antonio more prosperous and tourists more sober – it will be interesting to hear what the visitors think too.
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Kishar

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