Guernsey Press

Big tourism plans set out to make island more attractive

Ensuring a rich visitor experience will help encourage longer stays and more tourist spending, the island’s new visitor economy framework has stated.

Hannah Beacom, Chair of the Tourism Management Board. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33109393)

The document looks at long- and short-term aims, which include extending the season to maximise the shoulder months, continuing to improve data to better understand the value of tourism to the economy, and encouraging investment from both the States and the industry itself.

Tourism Management Board chairwoman Hannah Beacom said the board had spent the last year working to understand the challenges the local tourist industry is facing, and look at achievable solutions.

‘With a clear brand, and selective development, Guernsey can start to differentiate itself and become a core UK and European short-break destination,’ she said.

‘With this framework we will meet our visitors’ expectations of an excellent visitor experience.

‘The framework the TMB has published today is not a silver bullet, but provides a recommended direction of travel that we hope the industry and States can get behind, as it needs a total team effort if we’re to maximise our tourism offer.’

The short term aims – which cover this year and next year – are to encourage sustainable tourism and work with the Guernsey Sports Commission to market to supporters.

It also highlights that Guernsey needs to be offering the right product, with suitable bedstock, tourism products and travel links. The board is also looking to promote the importance of tourism to the local economy.

Long-term objectives focus on productivity, competitiveness and stewardship.

This category includes lengthening the season from the traditional April-September to generate year-round value, improving the tourism product, and investing in, and promoting, Guernsey’s unique heritage

Economic Development member Simon Vermeulen sits on the board.

The former hotelier said the local tourism industry was integral to the island.

‘Our rich and diverse culture and heritage provides an attractive proposition for visitors,’ he said.

‘Following global turbulence and factors beyond our control it is time to reset and maximise our opportunity in the tourism sector.

‘This new framework reminds us how lucky we are to have the tourism offering that we do, how important the visitor economy is to our Bailiwick and what we need to do together to cement tourism as a thriving industry for the future.’