Jersey’s borders are open and its hospitality industry is ready for business. There’s only one thing missing, and that’s visitors, says Simon Soar of the Jersey Hospitality Association.
‘The borders are open and the hospitality industry is working really hard to ensure the safety of staff and customers. We’re getting very positive feedback from members, who are working to strict new safety guidelines, and hopefully this instills confidence in visitors and in islanders.
‘But there’s no escaping the numbers. The maximum capacity of people who can get through our ports at the moment is about 3,000 per week. Usually at this time of year, our hotels have around 9,000 beds occupied per week.
‘We’ve not got the capacity on flights to generate the level of business we need right now The numbers are way below what’s necessary to get the industry back on its feet. But we’re staying optimistic.
‘When the borders open, it was inevitable that the first people travelling to the island would be here to see friends and family. Catching up with loved ones is the first travel priority for many people. But we’re hopeful that we’ll start to see more people here to holiday, and we’re working with Visit Jersey, and the States of Jersey, on initiatives that we hope will encourage this.
‘I love Jersey, it’s a wonderful destination, but it’s not a destination that people will rush to book a holiday to once they learn our borders are open. It’s just not that kind of destination. But people’s travel priorities have changed and Jersey is a destination that will now tick a lot of boxes for people holidaying for the first time since lockdown. Fingers crossed that we can start seeing the benefit of that soon. It’s could be a long road to recovery.’
(Feature image via Visit Jersey)