My industry revolves around both locals and visitors. Summer sees a rise in the number of off island guests into our venues, while winter drops more predominately to the local trade. With over 700,000 visitors to the island, and over 100,000 people on island, we have naturally developed a hospitality and tourism sector that pitches considerably higher than a comparable sized location.
So what does this all mean? The tourist market we currently have allows us to have a much greater level of service and experiences on island. Without the tourist market, Jersey would feel like winter all year round.
Its not just the service and experiences that would diminish without our tourism, connectivity would suffer greatly, with Ports of Jersey saying we would need no more than a few flights to London and Southampton to service the island.
I drum on about this as its not just down to the hospitality and tourism providers to focus on the experiences of visitors, its down to locals to help make Jersey feel like a very welcoming and warm place.
Jersey, historically, has been an island that has a fantastic ambience about it. People stop and talk with each other and are happy to go out of their way to help one another. Our guest workers are superb ambassadors for the island with their daily interactions with both visitors and locals alike. I believe we should be very supportive of the roles they undertake, as well as the value the role offers for peoples personal development. Its one of the main reasons hospitality experience can add so much to a CV, no matter what industry you wish to end up in.
My point in all of this is that hospitality shouldn’t be seen as removed from our lives in any way. It should be embraced and understood for what it is, and that’s the foundations of our society here. We should be incredibly proud and supportive of the industry as a whole.
Simon Soar, CEO of the Jersey Hospitality Association