ID scheme extension 'another platform' to encourage French visitors
France can provide a strong secondary tourism market for Guernsey Tourism Management Board chairwoman Hannah Beacom.
She was speaking after it was confirmed the French ID scheme would be extended until the end of September 2024.
It means that French travellers can make day trips to Guernsey on scheduled ferry services using their ID cards, rather than passports.
‘The extension of the French ID scheme is obviously very welcome and provides another platform through which we can encourage French visitors to the island,’ she said.
‘VisitGuernsey has been jointly marketing with the carriers in France during 2023 and has seen a marked increase in passengers.
‘With good routes from both Cherbourg and St Malo, plus the addition of Aurigny’s new Paris route commencing in April 2024, France provides a strong secondary market for the island, behind the UK.’
The primary source of day trips from France is likely to be offered by French ferry company Manche Iles Express, which schedules its services from Diellette to Guernsey during the summer to offer day trips.
Ms Beacom said she was hopeful there would be more travellers from France.
‘Building on the success of events such as the Renoir exhibition is key, and we will be looking to grow our marketing offer in France during 2024, not only to advertise more frequently and widely across Brittany, Normandy, and Paris, but also to work closely with French PR, bringing top publications to the island to generate editorial coverage as part of our visiting journalist programme,’ she said.
More than 70,000 people have travelled by ferry from France to Guernsey in the first nine months of this year, although only a portion of these would have been on day trips.
This is just under a third of all the ferry travellers from outside the Bailiwick into Guernsey.
St Malo saw most the traffic, with 50,000 travellers, but there were just over 10,000 each from St Malo and Dielette.