Jersey Islands witness rise in tourists despite bad inter island links

Published on : Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jersey IslandsLatest statistics released by Visit Jersey show that during the first ten months of 2017, 672,200 people visited Jersey – around 23,000 more than during the same period the previous year, representing a four per cent increase.

 
And the number of visitors who stay for a night or more (staying leisure visits) – rose by 54,000 to 390,528.

 
However, the number of day visitors fell by a quarter, to 102,422, which industry representatives said could be due to poor inter-island travel links.

 
Visit Jersey, which promotes the Island as a tourist destination and aims to increase visitor numbers to one million annually by 2030, estimates that visitor spending in the Island rose to £212 million between January and September, which was a £9 million increase compared to the same nine-month period in 2016.

 
The body’s chief executive, Keith Beecham, said that the figures were ‘promising’ and that they were down to better marketing of the Island and improving transport links.

 
Mr Beecham noted that the number of day trip visitors had fallen and said that this was probably due to below-par travel links between the two islands.

 
‘We would like to see an improved service between the islands in terms of services and price,’ he said.

 
Jersey Hospitality Association president Fiona Kerley, who is also the manager of the Ommaroo Hotel, said that she had a good year and had received a higher level of bookings for next summer.

 
‘We did well this year and our advance bookings are even better for next year, which is a very positive sign,’ she said.

 
‘And we are getting more French visitors who used to just stay for a day, but are now deciding to stay overnight and book rooms.

 
‘I think even in the winter months Jersey has great things to sell – such as its walks and the fact it is safe.’

 
Kristina Le Feuvre, who runs the aMaizin! Adventure Park, said she also had a good year, but suspected that poor travel links were hampering the inter-island market.

 
‘I think inter-island travel is the one thing that needs to be addressed though. A lot of our clients are from our sister isle and we have noticed a dip in the last 12 to 18 months.’

 
Earlier this year proposals for a new inter-island ferry between Jersey and Guernsey collapsed after the islands’ governments clashed over funding issues.

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