Entrepreneur and politician Abel Matutes Juan was born in Ibiza on 31 October 1941.
He studied Law and Economics at the University simultaneously and combined his studies with sport as a professional player at Real Club Deportivo Español.
He was manager of “Banca Abel Matutes” and at the end of the sixties he founded the Grupo Empresas Matutes, of which he is now chairman, and hotel company Fiesta Hotels & Resorts, now the Palladium Hotel Group. The group operates 40 hotels in six countries and manages nine brands, among them TRS Hotels, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts, Ushuaïa Unexpected Hotels, Only YOU Hotels, BLESS Collection Hotels and the Hard Rock Hotels brand under licence in three hotels in Ibiza, Tenerife and Marbella.
As for his political career, he was mayor of Ibiza, senator, member of parliament, European Commissioner, chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and foreign minister in José María Aznar's first government.
What would you highlight about the development of luxury tourism in recent years?
The development of luxury tourism has followed the reconversion of assets and the creation of new, attractive products. The island has interpreted new models of luxury, focused on the experience, and new tourist profiles, becoming once again a success story, without sacrificing its uniqueness.
What makes Ibiza different?
With everything it has to offer and the way it has developed conserving its essence makes it an all-round destination. In addition, the firm commitment to quality positions and differentiates it from other destinations, which is essential these days.
How do you see the island in the future?
Ibiza is working hard on carving out a niche. It is already an established, recognisable brand as a destination, but it is evolving and prioritising the luxury sector. Sustainability has a major role now and in the future, and is an area in which the island making significant progress.
Do you have any interesting anecdotes about the beginnings of the hotel industry on the island?
I witnessed the appearance of the first hotels in Ibiza through the family bank. The Escandell family in Sant Antoni and other entrepreneurs with small hotels or just pieces of land embarked on this adventure. I followed their progress with great expectations and admiration and I am proud of my family's role in financing these investments when nobody knew whether they would succeed because, among other things, Ibiza didn't even have an airport.
I followed their lead, admired them and they enticed me to embark on similar adventures, since my father and uncles were older. Together, we managed to make Ibiza a success story.
What is your favourite spot on the island?
I have many. From the mountains and unspoilt landscapes of the northern coast to the developments around Sant Antonio Bay, not to forget the coast of Eivissa to Playa d’en Bossa.
What is your favourite local dish from Ibiza?
Faves ofegades (Drowned broad beans) Especially the ones my mother used to make.
How would you define luxury on the island?
Services focus on excellence, added to its magnificent beaches and coast, gastronomy, leisure options and culture, make Ibiza a luxury in itself.
Could you define or sum Ibiza up in a short sentence?
Ibiza has grown a lot, sometimes too fast, but it has preserved its nooks and crannies and its personality and has set an example for many other locations in Spain. It has been able to grow its economy while preserving its essence.
(+34) 971 302 490