José Colomar has played a vital role in the history of tourism in Ibiza and has been a key figure in promoting and supporting the sector to reach its current position as a benchmark in the world of tourism.
He was born in San Carlos, in the Municipality of Santa Eulalia, on 13 May 1932. In 1967, he opened the Fenicia four-star Hotel in Santa Eulalia.
In 1978, together with partners, he took on the Royal Plaza Hotel project, and held the role of Managing Director until 1994, when he became the hotel’s Chairman and CEO.
He was co-founder and president of Ibiza’s branch of the Skal Club. He then took on important international positions until, in 1982, he was elected President of the Skal Club at the international convention in Milan.
He was President of the European Hotel Managers’ Association (EHMA), an organisation that brings together managers of luxury and four-star hotels across the whole of Europe.
He was co-founder of the Santa Eulalia Democratic Centre and became its president.
He was made an Honorary Citizen by the Island Council, set up Ibiza and Formentera Against Cancer (IFFC), the Rotary Club, and Pro Arte, and has supported many other organisations on the island.
He is President of Pro Arte, and a staunch supporter of the theatre and of classical music. He was Chair of Tourism Development for Ibiza from 1999 until 2002. José Colomar Juan was also the founder of the Adlib fashion brand.
Tourism in the days of the Chair of Promotion...
It was back when tourism was growing at a rate of knots, and people were excited about Ibiza. Everyone worked together, everyone was delighted, and they welcomed the tourists with open arms. Today, Ibiza is a benchmark for the entire world. You could say that’s because of the work that was done in the 60s.
The advent of the Adlib fashion brand...
I was Chair of Tourism Development. In the time of the hippies, the “peluts” [hairy ones], as they were called, created a look. A lady who lived on the island at that time, whom we used to call Princess Mihailovitch, came to me to ask for support, and suggested to me that we create and name an Ibiza fashion label. With the co-operation of the island’s tailors and seamstresses, we welcomed her at a Tourism Development event.
One day, I suggested that we call the label Adlib, derived from Ad Libitum, and people really liked it. We put on 6 or 7 fashion shows around the island, and they were very successful. Smilja persuaded Vogue, Hola and other fashion magazines to come to Ibiza.
They photographed my wife in traditional peasant dress at the church in Santa Eulalia, Puig de Missa, to make it into a poster. The original is at Santa Eulalia Town Hall. That photo is now on the back cover of the book published in homage to the Adlib label.
My favourite corner
Santa Eulalia, the beaches of Es Canar and Es Figueral, where I used to go as a child.
My favourite foods
I love fresh fish from the Mediterranean: the sea bream, the sea bass, etc. I like meat too, but in a year, I eat more fish than meat.
The great luxury of Ibiza
The luxury of Ibiza is the huge variety you find within the few square kilometres occupied by the island. It has the best climate of all the Balearic Islands, because both Menorca and Mallorca suffer the effects of winds off the mountains.
The current state of tourism in Ibiza
I think Ibiza needs a new plan: tourism has changed our character, and we very much appreciate the tourism we have — but we should give them an alternative in terms of atmosphere. We have to plan ahead, and at the same time continue with what we have been doing, whilst improving our style and service.
As I say to my friends,
Let everyone come to Ibiza, where they’ll be well looked after.
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