Published on : Monday, December 25, 2017
Despite ongoing transport issues there is good news on passenger statistics with a net increase of 4.5% year on year, this is an incremental increase of 1200 visitors to Alderney this year through both sea and air travel. And the Island’s tourism department is taking positive steps to securely sustain and build on this growth with a defined marketing strategy both for the short term and for the next 10 years.
Despite setbacks with transport issues and a modest rise in net emigration of recent years Alderney Tourism’s future remains promising. Our island potential remains strong with initiatives already in progress with various forums within States of Alderney such as improved transport links. Moving forward Alderney has a number of strategic choices that could stimulate further outward growth.
Tourism Action Group (TAG) forum formed earlier this year bringing together States of Alderney, Civil Service, Visit Alderney and Chamber of Commerce. Paul Veron, Strategic Advisor said: “Tourism Action Group (TAG) is a strategic working party bringing together different perspectives whilst creating alignment to form long-term strategies. We will explore further the biggest initiatives that have been proposed over recent years and then summarise the islands strategic choices with intent to form one aligned plan. We are further excited to welcome Chris Brock who will provide additional expertise aimed at driving new business for our economy. Alex Snowdon, States Member for Tourism agreed: “It is in its early stages but working effectively. As we move forward we intend to hold consultation and research where the community can help build ideas or add opinion with some of our initiatives”.
Over several months TAG has been preparing a roadmap which has involved reviewing statistics, identifying our core target markets, implementing digital media platforms and working on a short and long-term Marketing Plan. This for example includes focus on growth opportunity areas such as building our French connection. Anne-Isabelle Boulon explained “This year we launched French speaking social media and slightly increased our ferry sailings, we intend to stretch that further in 2018″. This work is complementary and in parallel to work being completed by the Air and Sea Transport Teams and in collaboration with other working forums.
Helene Turner, Tourism Director believes “Alderney’s tourism’s future is very promising and that we have a market that is not yet saturated. We believe that this plan will maximise the benefits of economic development opportunities that coming to fruition – top among them, of course, improved transport links. We have outlined the roadmap priorities ad would welcome feedback to further refine and develop the longer-term plan”
SHORT TERM ROADMAP
One Island. One Brand.
One voice harnessing the power of our diversity – Working with on island sub brands to create one cohesive brand plan, in collaboration with Alderney Clubs, charities and associations on and off island. Creating a strong marketing brand plan that taps into our unsaturated potential whilst rejuvenating our core.
Develop a 10 year plan, dovetailing into the Economic Development Plan & outlining our strategic choices for example; marine conservation, a Marina, WWII, UNESCO, transport infrastructure and Dark Sky status. We need to evaluate the potential economic contributions to the island.
22 by 22 – Increase Visitor Numbers
We aim to increase visitor numbers to rejuvenate our economy. We know that if we could grow our passenger numbers by +7% annually we would return to the highs of the late 1990’s, A However, a realistic target is +4% pa because after a period of sustained decline, we need to be realistic with our timescale to rebuild confidence in brand “Alderney”. Our future potential will therefore be defined by the pace of implementation of our key strategic choices that will be mapped in a 10 year plan. One critical success factor includes improved transport links where the aim is to improve Affordability, Availability, Reliability. The SOA Transport Sub Team are working to introduce new routes, Jersey, Cherbourg & UK and are exploring options for a passenger ferry. In parallel improving affordability on our lifeline routes with PSA & MOU and we are intentional with promotional airfares for 2018.
Protect our Product
Create a positive environment through development of contemporary tools and equipment. To include improved signage, visual appeal and refresh the Visitor Information Centre facilities. Invest in new outward growth opportunities by supporting initiatives for example through the new grant prioritisation tool, ice for Charter and shore angling, contemporary visitor literature, improve signage for our heritage sites & improvements for our island map.
Recognising the importance of tourism to our economy, by supporting business to business & visitor marketing, also researching our core markets to understand better their emotional and functional needs/wants. Alderney offers unsaturated potential which we will continue to be explored, however the current tourism market be broken down into the following three channels: Lifestyle; e.g. Walking, Beach Break, Relaxation, Weekend Breaks, Wildlife & Heritage etc. Events; e.g. Food & Drink, Culture; Music, Arts, Literary, Family Fun; Alderney Week etc.
Activities; e.g. Sports; Hill Climb, Air Races, Sailing, Charter & onshore angling etc.
Multi Media Marketing
Significantly increase digital media marketing, website development whilst in parallel continue use of traditional marketing.
Utilising the opportunity to bring in revenue through online advertising space.
Build our network and leverage the archipelago experience with our sister Channel Islands through the Island Hopping campaign.
“Tourism is a critical lever within Alderney’s broader economic development. The roadmap and 10 year plan will help us identify our priorities more effectively. confirmed Ann Hodgson, VP Chamber of Commerce. We are fortunate to have rich natural assets, diverse heritage and a strong community spirit where we somehow manage to host the most amazing events” Our local businesses are very dependent on Tourism and we need initiatives that will rejuvenate our island. That includes reliable, accessible and affordable transport links which are paramount with Tourism. It’s not easy territory for States of Alderney who remain tenacious with their intent”
Helene Turner summarised “I would like to thank the island’s community and businesses for supporting Tourism and making such tremendous effort to make Alderney’s summer season a success. Our Road Map and 10 year strategy is exciting and we want the community to be involved so please do look out for opportunities for consultation will coming up during the next year.