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Spotlight on the loss of an Ibiza visionary

When Norman Skinner, founder of Ibiza Spotlight, died last week, Ibiza lost one of its great visionaries.

Since becoming enchanted by the island and moving here in the 70s, Norman Skinner drove forward a new approach for holidaymakers and Ibiza providers alike. IBIZA SPOTLIGHT is now known the world over as the premier on-line portal to holidaying on the island, offering a go-to platform for visitors, hotels, restaurants, and a wealth of complementary businesses.

However, when Norman created IBIZA SPOTLIGHT online in 1999, internet businesses were a relatively new innovation, but he was not afraid to break new ground, and had a clear vision of the possibilities. Norman had had a successful business consultancy and publishing career in the UK, and on moving to live in Ibiza, he and his late wife established an extremely popular printed guide to the island (first edition published in 1976!). Always ahead of the times, Norman switched to a totally online operation in a brilliant, strategic move in 1999, and now, the IBIZA SPOTLIGHT story and brand bears testimony to his vision and skills.

Neighbours in Cala de Bou, businesses, in fact, people all over the island will recall Norman in their own special ways, as business visionary was by no means Norman's only characteristic! Whilst he'd regularly work into the early hours of the morning when excited by a new development, he'd always make time for lunchtime sojourns over a tincture with old friends.

Although devoted to Ibiza, he loved traveling to other countries, only to return with the fond boast that none equaled the beauty of his beloved White Island.

Despite taking business matters very seriously indeed, he loved to party, the tales of which were once legend. His local ex-pat friends and neighbours may remember lively debates at the bar, as he was certainly forthright in his opinions!

He enjoyed playing Backgammon, loved the movies, was a loyal Chelsea supporter, supported numerous charities, and whilst enjoying good food and a touch of luxury, he had an occasional nostalgic taste for fried Spam!

Most will be unaware of Norman's decorated WW2 service record – as a telegrapher on the Normandy landing crafts and in the Baltic. It's all quite a story. Norman's surviving daughter Anita is proud of her father's achievements, astutely describing her beloved dad as a ‘pioneer'. +

Norman also leaves three grandchildren, though very sadly, his two other daughters, Maralyn and Sue, pre-deceased him. Whilst his vision for IBIZA SPOTLIGHT continues to thrive, Norman's passing represents the loss of one Ibiza's true characters. Rest in Peace Norman.

Words by Janet Maloney

My memories of Norman

By James Ledden, company partner and managing director of Ibiza Spotlight.

When I met Norman in 1999, I could hardly believe his energy and passion. Here was a man wanting to start a completely new business, at an age when most would be thinking of lazy days in the garden or on the golf course!

Neither of us were exactly sure where the internet was headed, but both were convinced it was the future. We had a pretty hard time trying to sell something to the island which not many people even understood. However, the local businesses trusted Norman: "We don't know what the internet is Norman, but we trust you and if you say it will work, then let's do it!" It was humbling to see the respect they had for him - respect earned through years of helping these businesses attract new clients - first through the printed medium and later online.

The early years were so exciting: late-night planning sessions into the early hours; working 12 hour days and longer; feeding off each other's energy. I often found Norman in his dressing gown still at 12 midday, having got up at 6am and gone straight to his computer with a new idea - I just didn't have time to change James he'd say - look what I've been doing!

Along the way we've been heavily involved in hotel bookings, club tickets, car hire, boat charter, villa rentals and now social media. But the essence of Spotlight remains the same, 40 years after its founding: showcasing the best of the island and helping visitors to make the most of their Ibiza holiday, because holidays, Norman would say, are the most important decision of the year! Never forget that James!

I have learned so much from him over the years. He was an outstanding business man, a gentleman and a true pioneer. May he rest in peace.