Recent figures published by the Guernsey Retail Group show that visitors from cruise ships increase the footfall in St Peter Port significantly and also contribute to spending in local shops.
The footfall data has been collected by the Guernsey Retail Group’s (GRG) counters which were set up in town last year. The count on 25 April 2023, when the MSC Virtuosa visited the Island, indicates a 34% rise in pedestrians in comparison with the previous Tuesday when no cruise ships were scheduled. This data was taken from the counter on 3 Le Pollet. Local retailers have also reported increase footfall and sales.
Korinne Le Page, Head of Retail Development at the GRG, commented: “Whilst it is no secret that the arrival of a cruise ship adds to the number of people circulating in St Peter Port, we were pleasantly surprised by these figures.
“In total, last Tuesday, we measured 5,767 movements compared with 4,305 on Tuesday 18 April, representing a rise of 34%, which is fantastic for the Island and benefits local retail. The counters are starting to provide valuable information and trends which include these seasonal variations.”
Local retailer Andy Ison, owner of Guernsey Goldsmiths, agreed: “We are reliant on visitors due to the seasonality of our business, so the arrival of a cruise ship means not only a huge increase in footfall in town, but this also positively impacts on our sales figures. We take on extra staff on cruise ship days and did extremely well with the passengers from the MSC Virtuosa. Looking at previous years’ daily figures we can tell exactly when the ships were in town.”
Ms Le Page added: “The return of tourist numbers through these cruise ship visits, Condor day trips from Poole, St Malo and longer stay visitors through both the harbour and airport is providing a welcome boost not just in Town, but across the Island. We are hopeful that these trends continue.”