HIGH aspirations for Guernsey’s travel links are needed if tourism is to flourish, a member of Economic Development has said, as she called on Condor to address the Liberation’s ‘lack of resilience and reliability’ through a fifth vessel.
Quarterly sea travel figures released this week showed that passenger numbers increased across the board compared with the same period in 2016.
However, Deputy Jennifer Merrett, a member of the Committee for Economic Development, said figures from 2015 were a more ‘realistic’ baseline of the state of sea travel – with 1,300 fewer passengers in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 2015.
‘The quarter one figures are encouraging compared to the quarter one figures in 2016, which were poor and showed a lack of confidence [in sea links],’ she said.
‘That is very encouraging, but we need to make a realistic comparison with the right figures.
'That means considering our historical patterns and our aspirations for tourism in the future.’
Deputy Merrett said the ambition was to ‘grow tourism’ beyond the levels of 2015, but stressed that an addition to Condor’s fleet would be needed to do this.
‘We have to be realistic that the issue is we don’t have any resilience, and if something happens to the Liberation, there is no real back-up,’ she said.
‘A fifth vessel would have advantages for resilience and reliability, especially for day trips, many of which are inter-island.
‘It is very encouraging that Condor are potentially investigating that possibility.’