Condor has confirmed a marked improvement in the number of car passengers carried between the UK and the Guernsey over the three months of Summer.
The figures released indicate that over the peak travel period of July, August and up to 20 September, the company transported 1,400 more cars to Guernsey on its high speed services from Poole than in the equivalent three months in 2019. This represents a 19% rise and an estimated 3,500 additional visitors.
John Napton, Condor’s CEO said the company’s summer schedule has helped boost the figures and was pleased to see the benefit for the local tourism industry. He explained: “These numbers would not have been possible with the 2019 schedule. We have been able to offer direct sailings from the UK which allow us to carry more passengers at peak times, concentrated around weekends when most people want to travel.
“It is also fantastic to see that our visitors are staying longer in the island than previously, which has obvious benefits for the hotel trade.”
Condor has also reported an increase in car passengers travelling off Island to the UK over the same period and forward bookings this winter are also encouraging.
Deputy Neil Inder, President of the Committee for Economic Development, said: “Condor’s assessment of the summer season is welcome news and matches our own that 2022 has been a good bounce-back year for tourism; one that leaves plenty of room for optimism for the coming years.
“As part of our regular engagement with Condor we were aware it had focused its marketing and schedule on securing passengers travelling with a car and the longer stay market, and this proved incredibly successful with a near 20% increase in vehicles on its high-speed services compared to the pre-pandemic 2019.
“Tourists remaining on the Island for longer has clear benefits for the economy and is another useful reminder that passenger data alone, as a single-source barometer for visitor numbers, is not to be relied on but is rather part of the equation along with occupancy data from accommodation providers and information on the length of stay.
“We look forward to continue working with Condor on its scheduling and joint marketing to maximise opportunities for the island. The Committee will be issuing a broader release on the engagement with Condor in the near future, as I alluded to in my President’s update to the Assembly.”
Mr Napton added: “The success of this summer, coupled with positive indicators for next year, offers optimism that 2023 could be a good season for the Islands for UK visitors wanting to travel overseas without any Brexit uncertainty. We will be working closely once again with our industry partners, including the Guernsey Hospitality Association and Visit Guernsey, to maximise the opportunity.”