Monday 12 June 2023
The Tourism Management Board believes the recently published Quarter 1 Travel and Visitor Accommodation Bulletin shows there is much for the tourism industry to be optimistic about as it continues to recover post-pandemic.
The new bulletin (Facts & Figures | Guernsey Trade Media) demonstrated a positive upward trend of recovery with data showing visitor numbers had recovered to 81% of Q1 2019 levels. The most recent (February) Passenger Exit Survey insight from Jersey reflects visitor number recovery at 62% of the 2019 level.
Hannah Beacom, Tourism Management Board Chair, said data from the bulletin, combined with the significant investment currently being made in visitor accommodation, showed Guernsey tourism is well on the road to recovery.
When Premier Inn opened at Admiral Park last year, it was the first major hotel to have opened in Guernsey since the Novatel, now the Peninsula, 34 years ago. Current developments at La Grande Mare and Bella Luce are also significant investments, again demonstrating the confidence in tourism from key players in the sector. Last week the States approved permission for a glamping wellness retreat in St Peter's; a new and exciting addition to our accommodation offering that is an excellent fit for our new target audiences. The Board's view is that these investments in the sector give plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future.
The recently published bulletin shows occupancy rates in Q1 were higher than the same period in 2019, the last statistically relevant year pre-pandemic. While this includes a proportion of long stay guests it remains a positive position.
Visitors staying in hotels stayed for 3.2 nights on average in Q1 2023; an increase from 2.9 nights in Q1 2019 and the number of jobs in Guernsey's Hostelry sector grew to 107% of December 2019 levels in December 2022.
The average net promoter score given by visitors seeing friends and relatives was 72ppts and the average for those visiting for leisure purposes was 70ppts. These are excellent scores based on industry standards.
Mrs Beacom said:
'The recently published Travel and Visitor Accommodation Bulletin provides lots of data that shows we're heading in the right direction following the Covid years. Our recovery has been strong and there is a lot of positivity amongst much of the sector - the significant levels of investment being seen prove that optimism.
'This year we also have two significant events taking place that give us the opportunity to put ourselves on the map to new potential visitors. This summer we will welcome thousands of competitors and supporters to the island for the Island Games and, from September to December, we will have a significant Renoir exhibition taking place at Guernsey Museums. These are unique events that we can use to attract new visitors. Over the past two years, the team at VisitGuernsey has shifted its target audiences, broadening to include a multi-generational audience, as well as a younger, more affluent visitor who are looking for quality accommodation. This shift in demographic has also been seen by the carriers.
'The quality of the marketing material VisitGuernsey is producing has been recognised by being shortlisted for three awards at the upcoming Travel Marketing Awards. We know there are some challenges, but that is where we benefit from an agile marketing strategy, which can be quickly adapted to react to changing circumstances.
'It is inevitable that external factors will continue to impact our visitor numbers, but for the first time in several years there is cause for significant optimism if the industry continues working together in collaboration for the benefit of the sector as a whole.'