‘Kiosks should be more than Mini Milks, Cokes’

THE island’s beach kiosks could be unshackled from red tape that effectively restricts some of them to the trade of ‘Mini Milks, cans of Coke and hot dogs’.

Economic Development president Deputy Neil Inder. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30224734)
Economic Development president Deputy Neil Inder. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30224734)

A new tourism strategy is being drawn up. One of its aims is to underline the importance of kiosks on island life, and allow them to branch out into different markets, such as lobster and champagne.

The kiosks currently come with three-year concessions, and this time period is thought to be too short to encourage investment in better kitchens and patio roofs.

Some are not allowed to stay open after sundown.

Neil Inder, the president of Economic Development, told the public hearing organised by Scrutiny Management that the kiosks had 'slightly shaky contracts.

‘It doesn’t mean changing everything into a Vistas looky-likey, it’s just allowing the existing kiosk managers to take advantage of their position, and at least open after sundown.

‘Things are changing, you could do your Mini Milks and your Cokes in the morning, and do lobster, champagne and chips in the evening.’

Deputy Nick Moakes, a member of Economic Development, cracked open his second can of Diet Coke at that point, and in total consumed three during the two-hour hearing.

Another aspect of the strategy will be whether some heritage sites could be used for events, or unusual accommodation.

As a ‘purely illustrative example’ Deputy Inder said Castle Cornet could be a boutique hotel, but it was beyond the committee's powers to allow that because it was owned and run by other States departments.

After the hearing he clarified that it was an extreme example not be taken literally, but bunkers could become accommodation that would offer an entirely different tourism experience.

The clear message was that visitor accommodation was changing and becoming ‘funkier’, and the island’s glamping sites were highlighted as businesses that were meeting that shift.

However is was said that there were limited, obvious areas that could offer log cabins and forest-style accommodation.

The tourism strategy will include clear directions to States departments to give greater consideration to tourist businesses, for example with planning applications.

Deputy Inder railed against the ‘visionary documents’ that have been produced in recent years.

‘I’m bored of purely aspirational documents, previous strategies have not come to the States, we have one opportunity, we want to do it once and do it well.’

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