Visit Jersey’s outgoing CEO has said the island will ‘bounce back’ from the coronavirus crisis.
Writing in the Visit Jersey 2019 annual report, his last as CEO, Keith Beecham praised the commitment and passion of the island’s hospitality industry and was optimistic visitors would return.
‘Tourism is a resilient industry; the crisis will fade and visitors will return to our special island. We and our partners will rebuild the Jersey visitor economy,’ wrote Mr Beecham, who stepped down last week week after five years in the role.
‘The Jersey visitor economy is experiencing real turmoil at the time of writing. People have not fallen out of love with Jersey, they are just not travelling and taking holidays. But the evidence of the last five years gives me confidence that Jersey will bounce back. With our island passion and great experiences awaiting visitors, we will seize opportunities and rebuild our industry and cement Jersey as #theislandbreak for all seasons.’
Although 2020 has devastated visitor numbers to Jersey, 2019 was one of the best performing in more than a decade. The total number of visits reached 770,700, which was 6% higher than in 2018, and the highest volume of visits since 2002. Visitor spending during the year totalled £279.8m.
As a result of Visit Jersey’s marketing of the island as a year-round destination, more visitors enjoyed Jersey off-season, with staying holiday visitors visiting outside of the main April to September season accounting for 24% of all staying holiday visitors.
In 2019, the Jersey government invested £4.9 million in Visit Jersey but expenditure was kept below the level of 2018 by using digital channels to best effect and bringing resources in-house where possible.
‘The hard work of Jersey tourism and hospitality firms is paying off . Working together we will recover from Covid-19 and get back on track to achieve our ambition of 1m visitors spending £500m by 2030,’ said Mr Beecham.
Click here to view the full report.