Chamber of Commerce president urges new tourism strategy to avert losses and decline

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


The hotel industry could face bad times next year compared to 2020 if Jersey does not market itself properly post-Covid, said the Chamber of Commerce president Jennifer Carnegie.

Carnegie urged the government to release its new tourism strategy to make sure that Jersey is ready to contend for visitors once the current condition is over.

“The fear that [some members] have now is that, when we get control of the virus around the world, people are going to want to travel and they are not necessarily going to want to stay in Jersey but are going to holiday in all the places they visit around the world. If we can’t attract a good number of visitors back, the hotel industry could be worse off even than it’s been this year. How long that sector is going to take to recover depends how hard we work to attract tourism back into the Island,” said Carnegie.

Carnegie said that such a plan depends both on maximizing Jersey’s competitive advantages – as a destination easy and lucrative to get to along with an appealing visitor offering, and also making sure that the virus is under control to create confidence.

She stressed that without such a co-ordinated effort, the current restrictions, which have made all establishments with liquor licenses shut down until at least January, could be a stark warning of what might happen in the future.

To quote Carnegie, “At the moment we’re experiencing what it’s like to have next-to-no hospitality and it’s awful, it’s dull, it’s difficult to find places to meet and it forces people not to socialise which, of course, is exactly the point. But what would happen if it was always like that? What if these little businesses – these hotels and fabulous restaurants we have – disappeared entirely and it was like this all the time? Jersey wouldn’t be the place we know. We wouldn’t be able to attract the talent here; the financial services businesses we rely on so heavily wouldn’t necessary want to come here and we wouldn’t have a great deal to offer tourists outside the natural landscape, so I think that’s a huge area of concern.”

Despite all challenges faced by hospitality and tourism, Carnegie is generally positive about the future if government takes a lead.

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