Later bookings, but occupancy is high

GUERNSEY’S tourism industry has bounced back after the pandemic, with visitor occupancy rates higher than before Covid.

Andy Coleman, managing director of La Barbarie Hotel, was pleased that many of its regulars have had the confidence to return.  (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31135110)
Andy Coleman, managing director of La Barbarie Hotel, was pleased that many of its regulars have had the confidence to return. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31135110)

VisitGuernsey data shows that occupancy this August, currently at 85%, is predicted to rise to 89% over the course of the month. This compares to an industry average of 75% in August 2019.

Whilst the tourism industry is continuing to recover and see the impacts of increased global economic uncertainty, the Bailiwick is doing well this season, said Economic Development president Deputy Neil Inder

‘The level of occupancy reported by accommodation providers so far this summer is evidence of the Bailiwick bouncing back well from the significant impact the pandemic had on tourism, albeit we know there are still challenges for the industry and we remain committed to doing all we can as government to support,’ he said.

‘Our hotels are running at 80/90% occupancy, the island is certainly busy and I think it’s obvious that we’re having a really good season.’

In July, accommodation was up to 82% capacity, 13% more than in 2019.

The average occupancy in June was 79.6% this year compared to 76% in 2019, and in May was 75% against 63% pre-pandemic.

‘We are almost busier than ever,’ said Le Friquet Hotel general manager Jimmy Wright.

‘It’s good to have people back from all over the place.’

The hotel had seen good visitor levels, he said, but was still struggling with staffing, with visa processing taking as long as six months.

‘We have been pretty lucky and we haven’t suffered too badly with Covid.

‘The business is there but trying to get staff is taking forever.’

La Barbarie Hotel managing director Andy Coleman said the season was going well.

‘It is encouraging to see so many regulars having the confidence to return to Guernsey and the glorious summer we are having will hopefully encourage more repeat visitors next year,’ he said.

‘While we are not at pre-pandemic 2019 levels of occupancy, the current season is holding up quite well.’

He said booking patterns had changed, with more late and last-minute bookings.

‘We can only hope that we are able to attract more visitors in the autumn and shoulder months.’

Guernsey Self Catering manager Sandra Berry agreed.

‘People are booking later so I was a bit worried in April when we had availability in May, but it got booked up. The same happened in June.

‘People are just making sure Covid is behind them.’

Despite cancellations proving more difficult to fill than in previous years, she said their 37 properties were booked up into September.

‘The season is really very good – the chart is full,’ she added.

‘We are lucky because we have a lot of repeat guests. A lot of them are just pleased to get back and are highly delighted that travel is back to normal.’

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News