Guernsey’s Visitor Numbers Increase
There was positive growth in visitor numbers throughout 2017, with an overall increase of departing visitors, excluding cruise ship passengers and visiting yachtsmen, of 4%.
We are told this was largely driven by a 5% increase in staying leisure visitors, with an additional 36,264 bed nights in commercial accommodation, compared with 2016.
The overall increase was seen despite a fall of departing visitors by -10% in the fourth quarter, due to bad weather.
The increase equated to an additional 10,054 visitors versus the year before.
Total staying visitors saw an increase of 3%, with a 5% increase in those staying for leisure purposes.
Visitors staying in commercial accommodation increased by 4%, whilst bed nights in commercial accommodation increased by 5%. Visitors staying for business purposes also saw an increase of 5%, but visitors staying with friends and family declined by -4%.
The day visitor market also saw an increase, of 8%, with a 14% increase in leisure days compared with 2016. However, day trips for business purposes declined by -10%.
Visitors travelling by air saw a decrease of -2% last year, but visitors travelling by sea saw a positive 15% growth, despite a decline in the fourth quarter.
Visitors from the UK increased by 3%, whilst visitors from France increased by 11%. However, visitors from Jersey saw a decline of -5%.
Visiting yachtsmen increased by 23% compared with 2016, but we are told the cruise market experienced difficulties due to the bad weather. It meant many passengers were unable to disembark the ship, resulting in a -17% decrease.
President of the Committee for Economic Development, Deputy Charles Parkinson, says:
‘It is encouraging to see such a healthy grow in overall visitor numbers over the course of 2017, despite the bad weather in quarter 4. It is especially encouraging to see such positive growth in staying leisure visitors and those staying in commercial accommodation as these drive the greatest financial return to the Guernsey economy.’
Director of Marketing and Tourism, Mike Hopkins, says:
‘We are delighted to see a healthy growth in visitor numbers over the course of 2017. 2018 is set to be an exciting year, with plans to capitalise on the release of the film version of the best-selling novel, ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ on 20th April. We also have a number of fantastic events planned for the 2018 Guernsey Heritage Festival, which this year focuses on Guernsey’s Occupation and Liberation past, as well as the Spring Walking Festival in May and new Floral Festival in June.’