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Total Visitor numbers up +8% year to date

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Tuesday 06 August 2019

The total market of departing visitors stood at 152,462 visitors during Quarter 2 2019, an increase of +2% versus the same period in 2018.

Year to date (January to June 2019) total departing visitors increased by +8%to 184,805 visitors during the 6 month period - an increase of +12,975 visitors versus the first half of 2018. The increase has been largely driven by a strong cruise ship season supported by increased staying visitors travelling by ferry and air from both France, Germany, North America and Australia.

Summary of results for Q2 2019

Departing visitors increased by +2% compared with the same period in 2018 (+3,456).

International visitors saw the largest absolute year on year increase, with +2,858 additional visitors travelling to Guernsey between April and June 2019 (+24% increase) versus the previous year, with strong growth from the French (+15%), German (+30%), North American (USA +44% and Canada +126%) and Australian (+126%) markets. Conversely, visitors from the UK fell by -18%.

Passengers travelling by cruise increased by +21% during the quarter versus Q2 2018. However, passengers travelling by both air and ferry fell by -8% respectively during the same period.

Total staying visitors fell by -6%, staying visitors for leisure purposes fell by -3% and those staying in commercial accommodation specifically by -7%. Total day visitors and those day visitors travelling for leisure purposes declined by -17%respectively, with day visitors visiting friends and relatives showing a +23% increase, albeit from a small base. Day visitors travelling for business purposes remained relatively flat at -1%compared with Quarter 2 2018.

Following a strong Quarter 1, the staying visitor numbers during April and May saw a decline compared to a very strong April and May 2018, however the visitor numbers recovered during June showing healthy growth of +3% and +10% respectively, for total staying and staying leisure visitors; positive feedback from the trade and industry indicates that this trend should continue through the main peak season.

Summary of January to June 2019

During the first half of 2019, total departing visitors increased by +8% compared with the same period in 2018 (+12,975 visitors).

This was driven by a strong cruise season, with 64,364 visitors departing Guernsey via a cruise ship - +11,298 additional passengers versus January to June 2018, representing a +21%increase.

Visitors travelling by air fell by -3%during the first six months of the year (-2,632) and by sea by -5%(-1,900).

Similar to the Quarter 2 figures, departing visitors from France and other international countries saw strong growth of +11% and +16% respectively during the first half of 2019. Visitors from Jersey increased by +12% but visitors travelling from the UK saw an -11% fall in the same period.

Between January and June 2019, staying leisure visitors, the largest and most valuable segment of the tourism market, remained stable at 52,933 and visitors staying with friends or relatives increased by +2%. However those visitors staying for business purposes by -11%.Therefore, contributing to an overall staying visitor decline of-2%during the period.

Day visitors travelling by air or ferry fell by -10% versus January to June 2018. While day visitors visiting for business purposes increased by +5% and those visiting to see friends and relatives increased by +23%, these increases were not large enough to counter the fall in day visitors travelling for both leisure purposes (-10%) and other/unknown purposes (-36%).

Deputy Joe Mooney, member of the Committee for Economic Development said:

"I'm delighted that overall visitor numbers continue to grow, with almost 13,000 additional visitors entering Guernsey's shores in the first 6 months of the year compared with last year. This was helped by a particularly strong cruise visitor market.

Following the introduction of Open Skies legislation in 2018, and the subsequent launch of six new air routes earlier this year, Guernsey airport saw its busiest ever month for passenger numbers in June. While largely driven by increased resident travel, regional marketing activity continues to be implemented across the UK and German markets, to raise awareness of these new routes amongst consumers and the travel agency trade. Early feedback suggests that as awareness of these new routes increases in our visitor markets, forward booking numbers from visitors look encouraging".

Mike Hopkins, Director of Marketing & Tourism commented:

"Visitors from international destinations have performed particularly well this quarter. The German, Australian and North American markets all show double or triple-digit annual growth. The French visitor market, which suffered a decline in the first quarter of the year, showed strong uplift in Quarter 2. This follows increased marketing and PR activities, working with our trade partners, implemented in France in the lead up to and following the re-opening of Victor Hugo's Hauteville House. The increased marketing investment is set to continue in France throughout the year, to capitalise on Guernsey's unique Victor Hugo heritage and visitor offering".

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